As Americans, we know our country is in trouble when it comes to drug abuse and addictions. If we’ve learned anything in the past decade about winning this war on drugs, we’ve learned that we aren’t winning after all. But, we haven’t stopped trying, and millions of dedicated organizations and individuals go into battle daily to do what they can to save lives. Much of their focus is on teen drug use today and finding ways to prevent overdose statistics among our youth. With that in mind, we need to take a look at which drugs are most commonly abused by teens.
Most Commonly Abused Drugs by Teens in 2019
When we think of teen drug use today, alcohol and marijuana usually come to mind first. While those substances were among the most commonly abused by teens in 2019, surveys show that THC vaping is the second-largest increase ever in the 45-year survey history. The National Institute on Drug Abuse surveyed teen vaping for the first time in 2019. These are some of the results of that survey:
Daily THC Vaping:
- 0.8% of 8th graders
- 3.0% of 10th graders
- 3.5% of 12th graders
THC Vaping in the past month:
- 3.9% of 8th graders
- 12.5% of 10th graders
- 14% of 12th graders
When these teens were surveyed, their reasons for vaping were varied. For instance:
- 60% wanted to experiment or see what it’s like
- 40% said it tastes good
- 38% said the wanted to have a good time
- 37% used it to relax or relieve stress
- 30% just wanted to get high
- 29% were bored
- 6% said they were using them to try to quit cigarettes
Other drugs of abuse among teens in 2019 were as follows:
- Marijuana (35%)
- Alcohol (14.4%)
- Adderall (3.9%)
- LSD (3.6%)
- Cocaine (2.2%)
- MDMA (2.2%)
- Oxycontin (1.7%)
- Vicodin (1.1%)
- Heroin (0.4%)
Teens are more susceptible to the effects of these drugs and many of them suffer lasting damage. Because their brain is still developing, the chemicals in these substances can cause memory loss and a decline in cognitive abilities. The damages alter a person’s life by keeping them from reaching their full potential.
Teens and Drug Use Today: What Parents Can Do
No parent wants to watch their teen self-destruct by using dangerous, addictive substances. But, in today’s society, it’s not going to be easy to keep them out of harm’s way. What are some effective measures a parent can use to help their teen stay on the right track? Here are a few examples:
- Be aware of what kids are experimenting with today. Know the street names and what it is.
- Make sure your teen knows the terrible but true consequences of drug abuse.
- Be active with your teen in faith-based activities where they gain positive peer pressure.
- Don’t threaten your child about what you’ll do if they use drugs. Many teens will use just because they’ve been told they can’t.
- Don’t shrug off marijuana or alcohol use as “kids just being kids.”
- Know who your teen spends time with and where they go.
- Set an example by not using illicit drugs yourself. If they see you do it, they think it’s safe.
- Educate your teen about drugs, the effects, and how to resist temptation.
- Create an atmosphere of trust and respect in the home. Your teen needs to know he or she can come to you with their problems.
If you have teens at home and would like more information about teens and drug use today, contact us at Best Drug Rehabilitation. One of our knowledgeable representatives will be happy to talk to you. Also, if you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse, we can help them by recommending a treatment program that is right for their needs. Give us a call now and let’s get them started on the drug-free lifestyle that they want and deserve.
drugabuse.gov – Monitoring the Future 2019 Survey Results: Overall Findings