Receive a bonus guide on ways to manage your child’s health just for subscribing. Teens drinking cough syrup has been relatively consistent but fairly low, with an annual use prevalence of 3.2% for 8th, 10th and 12th graders combined. Support groups can be beneficial in offering ongoing support and encouragement throughout the recovery process.

Cocaine may be primarily present in nightlife and party settings, but it is also easy to use at home since it can be snorted. If you or your teen is struggling with a substance use disorder, there are many different treatment options available. The feelings that come with this transition can lead adolescents to turn to drugs as an escape or outlet.

the effects of teen drug use on academic performance

This should often be followed or accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or mental health professional. The impact drugs have on the adolescent brain can also put adolescents more at risk of drug addiction and developing a substance use disorder early or later on in life. “Self-medicating” with recreational drugs and alcohol works temporarily to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression because they affect the same brain regions that the disorders do. That’s one reason substance use is a risk factor for suicide in kids with depression, Dr. Taskiran notes.

teen drug abuse

These professionals also experience the difficulties of trying to work successfully with these young people. This video for middle school students explains how the brain develops and how drugs affect the brain. Parents should explain how they care about their child and their child’s future. Teens who feel supported and loved are also more likely to stop experimenting with drugs or seek help if they have an addiction.

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Drug use impacts perception—a skill adolescent brains are actively trying to cultivate—and can fracture developing neural pathways. Additionally, as our brains are becoming hardwired during adolescence, the pathways being reinforced are the ones that stick. If those pathways include addiction, the impact may lead to life-long challenges. The numbers are backing up that assertion, as teenage prescription drug use is on the rise. Teens have relatively easy access to these drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, as they could be found in the medicine cabinets of many homes or they could have friends who may have been prescribed them.

  • It’s important to recognize that one disorder does not cause the other; they occur at the same time.
  • And since their friends do it, it’s not stigmatized the way taking medication is.
  • 1 in 5 teens has abused prescription medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But in the longer term it exacerbates them, and often ends in abuse or dependence. The majority of adults with an addiction first experimented with drugs before they turned 21. The good news is that the rates of teenage drug abuse have been declining. If you think your teen is using drugs, there are teen addiction treatment options available. According to NIDA, teens who abuse prescription painkillers tend to do so in combination with alcohol or other drugs. In fact, 70% of teens who engage in painkiller abuse use these drugs alongside other substances, most often marijuana and alcohol.

Causes of Teens Using Drugs

Teenagers genetically predisposed or have a history of trauma are also at risk for drug use. Substance abuse is also dangerous because of its link to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. Inhalants are common among teens because they are legal and easy to purchase.

Due to the immaturity of the adolescent brain, individuals who begin using substances as teenagers are at greater risk of becoming addicted compared to those who begin substance use as adults. Teen drug use poses many risks for adolescents regarding academic challenges, physical and mental health problems, poor social relationships, and legal involvement. Teen substance use can also result in consequences for the youth’s family, community, and society.


There are different pathways or routs to the development of a teen’s substance abuse problem. While adults tend to get more subdued and slowed down by alcohol, in adolescents it’s the opposite. They tend to become more energetic, engage in more risky behavior and get more aggressive. Instead of slowing them down, alcohol can make teens feel more energetic, do riskier things and get more aggressive. Drinking is even more dangerous for kids with ADHD because they’re already impulsive.

Teens may feel that they need to try drugs to fit in with certain social groups. Drug use can also be an act of experimentation among teenagers, who may be prone to seeking exciting experiences. According to statistics, teen drug use rates are declining, with the use of illegal drugs aside from marijuana being lower than it has been in over twenty years among youth.

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This is because the brain is not yet fully developed, a huge factor in creating addiction treatment programs for teens. Teenagers use drugs and alcohol at teen drug abuse social gatherings to relax and lower their inhibitions. Teen drug addiction often develops because it’s natural for them to experiment with party drugs.

Youth Leadership Taskforce Honored for its Work This School Year – Westchester County Government

Youth Leadership Taskforce Honored for its Work This School Year.

Posted: Wed, 24 May 2023 13:26:17 GMT [source]

Adolescents using alcohol and other drugs also often disengage from school and community activities, depriving their peers and communities of the positive contributions they might otherwise have made. Families must have open discussions and set boundaries about teen drug use and alcohol consumption. This video for middle school students explains how synthetic cathinones, commonly known as bath salts, affect the brain…

Painkillers and Prescription Drugs

Misusing multiple substances at once is extremely dangerous and can increase the chance of accidental fatal overdose. Toxic chemicals that are found in everyday household items like nail polish, glue, or computer dusters can create an immediate high. There are five main factors that contribute to a heightened risk for addiction, spelling out the acronym FACTS. Calls to the number on this page will be answered or returned the treatment provider listed below, which is a paid advertiser.

  • There are multiple factors involved in how drugs change the brain and the processes involved with drug abuse and addiction.
  • Inhalants are inexpensive and can be found around the house, making them relatively easy for teens to obtain.
  • This video for middle school students explains how the brain develops and how drugs affect the brain.
  • Many substance-abusing youth engage in behavior that places them at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Some teens may feel like nothing bad could happen to them, and may not be able to understand the consequences of their actions.

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