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The 5 Most Shocking Teenage Drug Abuse Statistics

teen drug abuseTeen drug and alcohol abuse is a public health tragedy that can cripple a family emotionally and financially.

The reality is that the amount of teenagers who abuse legal and illegal substances is far too high.

These statistics show that there is still much work left to be done.

Here Are Some of The Most Shocking Teenage Drug Abuse Statistics:

Prescription Drugs Are Deadlier Than You Might Think

The medicines in your cabinet may seem innocuous, but when abused, they can have wide-reaching physical and mental side effects. Prescription drugs are not meant to be taken recreationally.

Because of the fact that they are readily available, teens don’t often see their dangers. The shocking statistic here is that more teenagers die from overdosing on prescription drugs than other, seemingly more deadly drugs, like heroin.

Prescription drugs can also serve as a gateway to more serious drug use, as more and more teenagers try to chase the high.

Binge Drinking Among Teens is Rampant

It’s a well-known fact that binge drinking is an issue in America, especially among college students. But some teenagers are starting much earlier.

The CDC reports that nearly 11% of all of the alcohol drank in America is by underaged teenagers. These teenagers are far more likely to engage in binge drinking, especially in social settings.

Many Teens Use E-Cigarettes

A lot of people are not aware that using electronic cigarettes is just as dangerous as using traditional cigarettes. But that hasn’t stopped e-cigarettes from becoming a major trend because of their perceived coolness.

Most e-cigarettes are still filled with harmful chemicals, and using them regularly can lead to traditional cigarette use over time. 

Heroin Use Has Soared

The opioid epidemic in this country has reached crisis levels. One of the most alarming teenage drug abuse statistics is that heroin use has quadrupled in the last twenty years.

Teens, especially those in rural areas, are at a higher risk for developing an addiction to heroin because of the lack of education behind the dangers of the drug.

But heroin is one of the most highly addictive substances on the planet, and repeated use can be a death sentence.

Teens Do Not Recognize the Dangers of Marijuana

Many states have legalized marijuana in some form, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes. What some teens don’t realize is that marijuana should be treated like cigarettes or alcohol. Its dangerous effects should still be recognized.

Regular marijuana use can lead to a host of biological issues. Yet less than 40% of teenagers think that regular marijuana use is dangerous.

The reality is that although marijuana has gained a favorable reputation over the years, especially as a symbol of the counterculture movement, the drug itself is actually much more synthesized than it was when it first gained popularity.

You can get psychologically addicted to marijuana, and it can be the cause of gradual changes to your brain chemistry.

The Takeaway

These teenage drug abuse statistics are largely the result of teenagers not taking drug abuse seriously.

It is the responsibility of guardians and community leaders to take the preventative measures necessary to ensure that their teens don’t succumb to drug use.

Have drugs and alcohol entered your teen’s life? Contact us today to start them on the road to recovery.


Reviewed and Assessed by
Taylor Brown, B.A.Com., MAADC II
Tim Coleman, M. of Ed.

Staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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