According to a new survey done by the National Institute of Health most teens have used alcohol and drugs by the time they are 18 years old. In fact 4 out of 5 teenagers have used alcohol and at least some type of drug, either illicit or prescriptions at least once. In addition to this 15% of teens were abusing alcohol by the time they hit 18, and 16% abusing drugs.
This new information indicates that those who are using drugs by this age could be setting themselves up for addiction problems for the rest of their lives.
What Teens Are Using
Recent Monitoring the Future reports indicate that there have been some interesting changes when it comes to teen drug use. One of those is that the use of marijuana by teens has hit an all-time high surpassing the numbers of teens that even use tobacco products. In addition to this prescription drugs have caused an addiction epidemic amongst teenagers and adolescents.
There are three categories of prescription drug most abused by teens which include:
• Painkiller and opioid drugs like Oxy Contin, oxycodone, hydrocodone and Vicoden.
• Stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin.
• Other prescriptions like anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressant medications.
Synthetic drugs are also a primary category of abuse for teenagers. These include many substances that are made from chemicals and packaged as “natural” or “herbal” forms of illicit substances. Synthetic drugs had been sold in gas station, convenience stores and paraphernalia and smoke shops before being banned across the country.
The most popular synthetic drugs amongst teens are synthetic marijuana, synthetic methamphetamine and “herbal” ecstasy.
Synthetic marijuana is also called K2 or Spice and synthetic methamphetamine is also marketed as Bath Salts.
Alcohol is another teen problem. Right now the average age a child first tries alcohol is 8 years old. Those under 21 consume 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the country and 24% was in form of binge drinking. Groups have formed like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) because of the negative consequences associated with drinking like driving under the influence.
Why Teens Develop Addiction Issues
There is a datum that is used by many in regards to teen drug and alcohol use. It is that teens “will grow out of it” and the drug and alcohol use is “just a phase.” More families have dug themselves into a hole regarding a loved one who is addicted by believing in and using these phrases.
Many teens do try drug or alcohol for the first time at a young age. However those who are let go or even allowed to drink end up in worse shape than anyone. Parent will hope or think that the problem will just go away or the teen will grow out of it. Unfortunately that is not the way it works with addiction. The problem continues to get worse and worse with the teen trying more and more drugs.
Eventually it becomes such an issue that the individual is unable to take care of themselves, ends up with many negative financial issues, health and relationship problems.
Studies indicate that one will want an average of 15 years at times before they get treatment. And why? When the problem could have been prevented in the first place or handled when the loved one was a teen or adolescent.
Narconon meetings as well as NA and other programs have seen this time and time again. If a parent does suspect that their teen is using drugs they have to act to get them help. Narconon meetings or residential treatment exists; as do other options.
For more information on Narconon meetings contact us today.