Home > Teens > Teen Health and Safety > Drugs and Alcohol > Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents
|

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents

Let's say we stop the first adolescent who passes by your house. I give him money and tell him to purchase some illegal drugs. At the same time, I give you money and tell you to get me a six-pack of soda. Both of you would probably get back at the same time with the items I requested.

This is an exaggeration, but not far from the truth. Drugs are available everywhere, from the highest socioeconomic levels to the lowest, from the best schools to the poorest schools. Recent surveys by national organizations related to drug abuse and alcoholism show:

  1. The average age of first drug use is 13. The average age of first alcohol use is 12.

  2. Over 50% of high-school seniors have tried drugs. Over 33% have tried a drug other than marijuana.

  3. Nearly 33% of all high-school seniors claim that most of their friends get drunk at least once a week.

  4. Nearly one in 16 has tried cocaine or its powerful, addictive derivative, crack.

  5. High-school senior girls ingest more stimulants and tranquilizers than boys. Girls almost match the boys' use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.

  6. Approximately 33% of fourth-graders reported peer pressure to try alcohol and marijuana.
Times Have Changed
Things have changed dramatically since we were children. The drug user or addict in our day was seen as a degenerate. Today, drug use cuts across all socioeconomic levels. It is even seen on TV and in movies as something done at social gatherings or parties. Negative effects are minimized.

Attitudes and values of the adolescent and preadolescent have shifted away from authority figures and toward more pleasure-seeking, big-money, fast-living people - toward sex, drugs, alcohol, and money.

This section gives a general overview of substance abuse in preadolescents and adolescents, and touches on the types of situations in which substance abuse is more likely to occur and the reasons for this behavior. Signs and symptoms of substance abuse are also included. For further details, consult one of the many excellent books on this subject. Also, check with the substance abuse agency in your area, which can provide literature about drug and alcohol use.

Next: Why it is >>

More on: Teen Driving

|

From Keys to Parenting Your Teenager by Don Fontenelle, Ph.D. Copyright 2000 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Buy the book at Barron's.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!