Today, illegal and legal drugs are more available to teens than alcohol. Teens can access drugs from school, friends, doctors, neighbors, and where you’d least expect them - at home in the medicine cabinet or under the kitchen sink.
Many teens experiment with drugs because of social pressures to fit in or to cope with stress from family issues or problems in school or at work. However, teens are often unaware of the side effects from drugs and are more susceptible to overdose.
According to the 2012 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, about 2.9 million people aged 12 or older used illicit drugs within the last year. Marijuana was the most commonly abused drug among teens with 65.6 percent of illicit use, followed by pain relievers at 17 percent.
Drugs are more readily available today than they were in previous decades. They are also more potent, which increases the danger of teen drug abuse. Illicit drugs and even new designer drugs are easily accessible in the following ways:
- Prescription Drugs – More than half of teens admit to scoring prescription drugs from their parent’s medicine cabinet because of easy access. Unfortunately, many teens believe prescription drugs aren’t as dangerous as illegal drugs; however, teens are more at risk of overdose because they believe them to be harmless.
- Heroin – Many teens start by abusing other drugs like marijuana or prescription painkillers, but begin using heroin because it has a stronger and more immediate effect. It’s common for teens to get their hands on heroin at school, from neighborhood friends or street dealers.
- Marijuana – Pot can easily be found at school, work, or from friends. Marijuana may seem harmless, but today, it’s common to mix marijuana with other chemicals. Therefore, many teens often put themselves at risk because they are unaware of what they’re ingesting.
- Synthetic/Club Drugs – Drugs such as Bath Salts, Molly, Ecstasy, K2/Spice and Fentanyl are usually distributed at parties and used as hallucinogens. In 2012 alone, there were 1.1 million persons aged 12 or older who had used these drugs for the first time within the past 12 months.
These days, ignoring the availability of drugs won’t keep your teen away from them. The best thing you can do is educate them by being open and honest about discussing the dangers of teen drug abuse. If your teen is already experimenting with drugs and alcohol, early intervention, medical attention, and support from loved ones, is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of addiction.
So when exactly is the right time to get help for your teen? Now… right now. To restore hope in your teen, reach out to our admissions counselors today. We’re available 24/7: (844) 319-5239.