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The Teen Drug Use Statistics Every Parent Should Know

Many people raising adolescents are unaware of the teen drug abuse statistics every parent should know about. Adolescent rehab programs in the US have stated that drug and alcohol abuse among adolescents is a real problem that should be confronted.

One of the prominent teen rehab in Pennsylvania states that parents have a huge responsibility to ensure that their kids are not being induced by drugs.  

They should not be harsh with their kids but at the same time, they shouldn’t be too lenient and maintain a watchful eye because this phase of life can be quite vulnerable and be the base of how he or she would be as an adult. 

Teen Drug Use Statistics

The teen drug use statistics are alarming, to say the least; just goes to show where the future of this country is heading thanks to the callous attitude adopted by adults and the open culture existence perpetuated by the media and the Internet.  In the US, there are about 3,500 teenagers who smoke every day.

35% percent of 12th graders smoked weed in 2019, while 30% of high school students surveyed admitted to drinking alcohol. Alcohol use has declined among teenagers since 2013 but binge drinking has seen a significant increase with hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits by teens for alcohol-related injuries.  The drug that is most abused in this age group is Marijuana.

A survey of 10th graders four years back showed that 15 percent used Marijuana, 13 percent of them used inhalants and 6 percent used a club drug


Vaping among teenagers has become the thing to do as more and more teens believe that is not as dangerous as cigarettes. 3.6 million teenagers reportedly used tobacco, nicotine-based vaping products. Teens use popular devices that look like USB drives and can be charged with a computer. In 2019, the CDC warned that thousands of cases and some deaths related to e-cigarettes and vaping products. One of the most popular devices is called JUUL and kids refer to the act of inhaling vapor nicotine liquid (called juice) as JUUling. Other common devices are vapor pens and e-cigarettes.

Opiods Use Among Teenagers

14% of high school students reported ‘misusing’ prescription opioids like painkillers, Vicodin, OxiContin, or Percocet. Opioids overdose increased significantly in the US in the last five to six years.

Many opioids are legal and easy for teens to obtain as they are often in their homes medicine cabinet. The most commonly known are oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine. The use of these prescription drugs has become a gateway to heroin use which is easier to get in the streets, resulting in a significant increase in heroin use according to experts.

Adolescent Heroin Use Statistics

According to a study, the use of opioids by teens is a red flag that should be noted, since teens who use or have used opioids are twenty-two times more likely to use heroin. They are four time more likely to attempt suicide. These teens also have higher risk of drunk driving, becoming more aggressive and violent, carrying guns or other weapons.

There could be any number of reasons that certain kids are vulnerable to not only opioid abuse, but also other risky behavior,

Dr. Cora Breuner, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence

Help My Teenager is Using Drugs – Every Parent Should Know!

Why do teenagers abuse drugs? According to the reports put forwarded by teen treatment centers that have examined this situation and treated many youngsters, peer pressure and lack of confidence are the biggest reasons.  

When a fellow teenager boasts about taking drugs and seducing a girl in his class, or when a group of drug-struck teenagers talks about the ‘highs ‘that they get by taking drugs, an impressionable teenager develops the interest in trying it out and that’s where the trouble starts brewing Drugs are known to have dangerous effects that can harm a person’s physical and mental development.

For one, it can harm the teen’s ability to absorb information and pay attention. Teenagers who have drugs are more likely to indulge in unprotected sex and even have physical relationships with a complete stranger. 

Teenagers who abuse drugs are usually the ones who are getting into this bad habit from a young age and if the person does not stop his or her addiction, it can be very difficult to get rid of this problem and even when treated, there are chances of relapse when quitting the drug addiction. 

Anabolic steroids cause a lot of sexual problems in both the sexes. The reproductive organs are not developed properly, men tend to become impotent, and women suffer from hair loss and clitoral enlargement. Additionally, there are other repercussions like acne, skin diseases, baldness, stunted growth, stroke, liver diseases, cancer and risk of HIV/AIDS in both sexes, given the fact that some of the drugs can make a person promiscuous in nature substance abuse can affect the body systems.

Depending on whether the body is able to process the drug or not, there have been many instances of interrupted breathing from sedatives, permanent brain damage from inhalants, and heart attacks from stimulants. Needless to say, all of these drugs can lead to death as well.

Drugs according to teen rehab centers, may be taken by teens to mask their fears and anxieties but in retrospect, they actually increase these worries after the momentary ‘high’ is lost and due to increased depression, a person can actually commit suicide, kill someone or even become a homicide victim.

There is not anything more terrifying than the moment a parent realizes that their teenager is using drugs. It is a feeling that is indescribable and it can spiral us into a wide array of fears and anger that are unmatched.

Parents Need Help with their Teenager Using Drugs

Through the experience of dealing with teens and their drug use, a parent will try almost anything to help their teen deal with their drug use. It is a scary moment and one that no one is really prepared for. I have had many parents tell me that they felt like the moment they found out that they needed to be an expert on the subject. That they remember the first encounter they had with their teen and feeling like they needed to have the words to say and the way to say them. That they were fishing in their mind for what to do and how to handle this shock that their teen was using drugs.


If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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