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Get Educated: Teen Substance Abuse Statistics

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On its easiest day, parenting is still one of the most challenging jobs you’ll ever have. Filled with ups, downs, joys, and sorrows, it is both rewarding and frustrating. Sometimes it is all of those things all at once, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. While loving your kids is the most important thing you can do as a parent, there are other steps you can take. One of those is learning about the challenges and obstacles that your children might face during their teen years. Understanding the signs and symptoms of drug use is an important step.  It’s also important to know what drugs are out there and how widespread use is. Teens can be more vulnerable to using drugs to cope with the angst of the teen years. A quick look at some teen substance abuse statistics may seem depressing, but knowledge can be power. At Thrive Treatment, we understand the statistics and the reality behind them. We’re here to help you and your teen navigate any substance abuse that you may be facing. 

Teen Substance Abuse Statistics to Be Aware Of

When your children are young, you worry about their falling or bumping into something. As they grow and become teenagers, you worry about them falling in with the wrong crowd and withstanding peer pressure. Your concerns are valid. Substance use can affect their growth and development and contribute to health problems as they grow into adults. Examining the teen substance abuse statistics won’t necessarily give you comfort.

 Researchers have found that approximately two-thirds of students admit to having tried alcohol by the time they reach the twelfth grade. Additionally, about half of high students have used marijuana, and around twenty percent admit to having used prescription medicines without having a prescription. And while you might not think of nicotine as a drug you have to discuss, you need to add it to the list of topics. Vaping has made nicotine a much more attractive option. From 2017 to 2019, the number of teenagers who vaped nicotine doubled, and those numbers remained steady in 2020. Understanding what drugs are popular and what signs to look for will help you talk to your child about the dangers they may be facing.  

The earlier that drug and alcohol use start, the higher the risk that the user will develop into substance abuse and addiction. You must speak with your teen about drugs sooner than later. Sadly, teens are exposed to the possibility of drug and alcohol use at an early age. Begin to have the conversations early and often. These conversations are even more critical if there is a history of addiction in your family or if your child has experienced any trauma during childhood. Help your teen understand that there is no safe drug use during their adolescence and that many drugs can never be safely used. If you currently take prescription medications that could be abused, be sure to secure them to minimize the risk of your teen taking them as a way to experiment. The most important thing that you can do as the parent of a teen is to open the line of communication and keep it open. 

How Thrive Treatment Can Help Your Teen

At Thrive Treatment, our treatment approach is a blend of modern and traditional practices and therapies. We integrate relational and behavioral therapies and holistic, medical, and psychiatric interventions to help your teen. Located in beautiful Santa Monica, we will develop an individualized plan to help your teen get through their addiction, both during inpatient treatment and beyond. We’re also here to support you and your family in understanding the treatment and your role in the process as you support your teen. Addiction affects the whole family and we’re here to support all of you. Contact us today and let us help you and your teen face addiction and any other mental health issues.  

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