Teenage drug abuse facts may be surprising to many adults, and especially alarming to parents of teens. Many more teens are experimenting with, abusing and becoming addicted to drugs than most adults ever imagined. They are using illegal drugs, but they are also getting prescriptions from friends and family members to use as study aids or to get high. The repercussions for young people using drugs can be far-reaching and so it’s important for parents to know the truth about what teens are doing with drugs.
What Are the Teen Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics?
The truth about teens and drugs is that more of them are abusing them than their parents want to believe. Nearly half of all high school seniors have at least tried one type of drug. Forty-three percent of seniors have smoked pot and more than 8 percent have tried hallucinogenic drugs like LSD or mushrooms. Ten percent of high school seniors have tried a synthetic marijuana product while more than 1 percent of these teens have tried bath salts, a designer synthetic drug. More than 5 percent of high school seniors have tried cocaine and nearly 2 percent have smoked crack.
Seniors in high school are not the only students abusing drugs. Their younger peers are getting in on it as well. They are using drugs and drinking. In fact, more than half of sophomores have already started drinking. And high school drug use is not the only drug abuse going on among young people. It starts in middle school with 15 percent of eighth graders having tried marijuana at least once.
Where Do Teens Get Drugs?
Parents have a hard time imagining that their children are using drugs for many reasons, but one is that they can’t think how teens access drugs. According to statistics, more than 60 percent of high school students say that they know of drugs being kept in their school. Sixty-four percent of teens report having received prescription drugs to abuse from either a friend or a family member. Drugs are easier for teens to access than ever before, and one source is the Internet. Synthetic and prescription drugs are often sold online.
What Are the Dangers of Teen Drug Use?
Teenagers are still developing and they put themselves at risk for lasting damage to their brains by using mind-altering substances. Teens using drugs tend to miss more school and to have lower grades than their sober peers and they also get into trouble more often. The facts about drug abuse in teenagers also tell us that the habit can be deadly. Overdosing on drugs is easy to do accidentally and prescriptions pose a particular risk. More teenagers die from prescription drug abuse than from cocaine and heroin together. Most teens don’t realize how harmful prescriptions can be. Many assume that a drug from a doctor must be safe to use.
Learning the facts about teen drug abuse is disturbing and upsetting, especially for parents. But it is also crucial for saving lives. If you are the parent of a teen make sure you know the truth about teens and drugs and talk to your children about all potential risks of abusing drugs.