Teen substance abuse has been a problem for a long time, and it isn’t going away. According to PennState Health Children’s Hospital, substance abuse among teens is a problem that’s growing fast. Of all the age groups, teens and young adults are the ones who are most at risk for this problem. Substance abuse may be using either drugs or alcohol or other items that are used to get high.
Among all of the new drug users in the US, about half are minors engaging in teen substance abuse. Among high school students, about 20% have abused prescription drugs at one time or another. High school students are also very likely to use alcohol. About one-third of them currently use it. More than 20% have used marijuana, and another 22% use tobacco products. Minors are wired for substance abuse because of their developing brains.
Teen substance abuse happens in order to get more dopamine into the brain. This is more likely in teens because their dopamine receptors are at their highest volume during these years. It’s important to talk with teens and to understand what they think about alcohol and drug and whether they have used them or been tempted to use them.