Youth Drug Abuse
The teenage years are a time dedicated to finding out who you are as a person, independent from your family, friends, and peers. However, this same period of self-discovery can be fraught with dangers that may be hard to recognize without the benefit of education and experience. In the United States, 90% of addicts began using drugs or alcohol before they turned 18. Research has consistently found a link between early drug use among youth and the later development of addiction, which makes it all the more important to help teenagers steer clear of illicit substances. Families, communities, and even teenagers themselves can all help bring this dream into reality, and it starts with better education about teen drug use.
Fast Facts on Drug Addiction Among Youth and Teenagers
When it comes to youth and substance abuse, the facts and figures can be disheartening. Illicit drug use in the United States has risen from 8.3% in 2002 to 9.4% in 2013, and drug addiction among youth is still responsible for many untimely deaths.
- By the time they graduate from high school, around 80% of teenagers have tried alcohol, with 29% reporting that they'd had five or more drinks in a row within the past two weeks.
- In 1994, the leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults was alcohol-related accidents.
- Every day in the United States, almost 5,000 youth under the age of 16 have their first drink.
- 90% of youth drinking under age 21 qualify as binge drinkers.
What Can Be Done to Reduce Drug Abuse Among Youth?
The good news is that there are many ways to help reduce the rate of drug abuse among youth. One of the first lines of defense starts at home. Parents can help explain the relationship between youth and substance abuse, the importance of making safe decisions, and educate their kids about the dangers of drinking. Schools and communities can also help curtail drug use among youth through educational programs, making it easy to speak with a counselor, and creating a safe environment through the enforcement of alcohol and drug laws.
Substance Abuse and Youth: How to Find Help
Even with all the best programs and preventative measures, there will still be some kids who fall into the trap of substance abuse, and youth in this situation may need treatment and addiction counseling if they've been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period. Before deciding on a treatment facility or rehab, take the time to ask questions and make sure that the center is properly accredited. If you'd like help as you work to find the right option for yourself or a loved one, consider using BetterAddictionCare's customized pre-screening assessment. The assessment can help you quickly and easily sort through our nationwide recovery network to find the best treatment plan for you. Our services are 100% confidential, and the facilities in our network are always accepting new patients. We can help you choose from among the country's top inpatient, outpatient, and alternative rehab programs to find a professional, cost-effective solution for you.
For more information on drug use among youth and available treatment options, call today or fill out our contact form to get help now so yourself or a loved one start healing.