Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse
As expected, as teens enter high school, and sometimes even middle school, they are likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Maybe they saw their parents drinking and wanted to try it, or maybe a friend offered them some marijuana and they gave in to peer pressure. Either way, the reality of the matter is that more and more teens are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.
The Effects of Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse on the Brain
According to Dr. Kevin Wandler, Chief Medical Officer, Advanced Recovery Systems, “Teens have chemically naïve brains that have not been exposed to drugs or alcohol. The neurochemical effects that they get are more intense than folks older than 25.” With that being said, it is the harsh reality that as the children grow older, the brain will begin to develop unevenly due to the drastic effect of drugs and alcohol. This may cause a negative effect on the child’s memory, ability to respond to stimuli, and develop an addiction much easier than that of a child who has never used drugs.
Fast Facts About Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- In 2017, about one in four high school seniors used an illicit drug, such as heroin or marijuana, in the past 30 days.
- In 2015, more than 770 teens aged 15 to 19 died of drug overdose
- According to results from the 2017 Monitoring the Future survey, 45 percent of teens have tried marijuana once in their life by 12th grade.
- The report found that 33.2 percent of 12th-graders, 19.7 percent of 10th-graders and 8 percent of eighth-graders reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
- One in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives.
- More than 1.4 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 needed treatment for an illicit drug problem in 2016.