For instance, that study revealed that 9 out 10 Americans that are addicted, as per the medical definition of addiction, meaning they are dependent on drugs or alcohol, started drinking, smoking or using drugs in their teen years. Further, the study points out that early exposure to addictive substances makes people more likely to become addicted; in comparison, only one out of 25 Americans that started using drugs or alcohol at the age …show more content…
It’s always fun and exciting, but typically it does not show the flip side of the problem.
Another reason that so many teens become substance users is that alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and controlled prescription drugs are readily available to them; they can often find them in their own homes.
Teenagers that have family problems like genetic predispositions, health problems or traumatic events are at higher risks for addiction or substance use.
Consequences of teen substance abuse
Aside from a heightened risk of addiction, teen substance abuse can lead to injuries and accidents, unintended pregnancies, depression and anxiety. On top of that, it can cause lower educational achievement and involvement in crimes.
Especially troubling is the fact that heroin abuse has skyrocketed over the past decade, and overdose deaths from heroin have increased 286 percent in the decade between 2003 and 2013. As you can see, there is a very real chance of losing many more teenagers and young adults to this epidemic if we don’t get it under control.
How do we stem the tide of abuse?
There are a number of measures that we can take to help keep teenagers from abusing