Teens: 50% Smoke, Drink Alcohol or Use Drugs

There have been some shocking study results regarding the number of teens that smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs. It is estimated that half of the teens in the United States high schools fall into this category. Out of that number 1 in every 4 of these teens started using before their 18th birthday.

Addiction Can Start Young

According to the National Center on Addiction Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, one-quarter of the individuals in the United States that started using drugs or alcohol prior to their 18th birthday are in like for drug and alcohol addiction Only 1 out of every 25 in the United States that started using drugs and alcohol after the age of 21 is considered to be addicted.

Every Year Counts in Addiction

The recommendation from the professionals is to do all that is possible to keep teens from engaging in smoking, drinking alcohol and drug use for as long as possible. The longer the person waits the greater their chances will be of avoiding addiction. The chance of successfully avoiding becoming an addict will increase with each year that the individual doesn’t partake in these actions.

Teens: 50% Smoke, Drink Alcohol or Use Drugs

The studies show that 75% (10,000,000) of United States High School Students have experimented with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or tobacco. Out of these numbers 1 out of every 5 meet the criteria set for addiction. Of the frightening 46% (6,100,000) of the high school students that are currently using addictive substances, 1 out of every 3 is addicted to the same substance. Out of the high school students in the study it appears that the choice for substances is alcohol, then cigarettes and marijuana.

The study used a combination of 1,000 students and 1,000 parents of students as well as 500 school officials to compile the information. This was combined with interviews of experts and focus groups as well as literature reviews totally more than 2,000 scientific articles.

Possible Management Strategies

Management of the situation at hand might possibly include a change in the way health care is presented having health care providers integrate a level of substance abuse screening into their practice so that they are able to detect and refer patients as necessary to deal with the issue. The biggest challenge to this concept is dealing with the restrictions put on such care by insurance carriers. Additionally it can be difficult because of the restrictions because of the health care of minors.

Another potential way to help teens avoid addiction or the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco is by example. They need to understand that there are other ways to manage with life’s challenges than turning to these substances. They also need to be encouraged that there is a support system in place for them at home and with their teachers. Taking the time to connect with the teens can go far in getting some warning that they can be in trouble. They need to feel that they can reach out to you at any time to get your help, encouragement or advice.

The numbers show that the problem is more wide spread and increasing in addiction. The key is to help the teens to move away from reaching for a substance to help them cope with life and to encourage them to find new ways to manage. This is something that needs to start at an early age in order to be influential in the life of a teenager. It is true that teens that are involved in group activities, are academically well rounded and that are involved in various religious beliefs are less likely to become addicted to substances.

It is becoming increasingly easy for teenagers to get their hands on illicit substances and other harmful substances, which is why the addiction rate for these young people is growing at such an alarming pace. If you know a teen who is struggling with any form of substance abuse, then one of the best things that you can do is to stage an intervention and help them get the treatment and the assistance that they need. The right substance abuse treatment program is going to do wonders for someone who is just starting out with a substance abuse problem. These treatment programs are custom tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient, which means that a teen in need can get all of the help they require in order to prevent future substance abuse problems from occurring as well as treating the current one.

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