Teen substance addiction is one of the leading reasons for conflict among youths and families. As a result, psychotherapists strive to provide kids with the best available solutions while still allowing them to enjoy their teenage years. Therapy and teen drug treatment programs have been primarily created to stop underage substance addiction among teenagers.

Teen Substance Abuse by the Numbers

Addiction to substances like drugs and cocaine is on the rise in the United States, with teens and young individuals being the most susceptible. As a result, parents must be prepared for the possibility of their children using substances or consuming alcohol.

The most apparent cause for teen drug use is curiosity. More than 50% of new drug addicts are under the age of 25. While experimentation is an essential part of a child’s learning experiences, it can also bring severe negative consequences.

In the United States, the misuse of harmful substances is continuously increasing, with teenagers and young adults being the most vulnerable demographic. It has been predicted that more than 2 million teens will try drugs this year. The most commonly used illicit drug among high school students is marijuana, and its consumption has been steadily rising since 2009. More than 30% of teens drink alcohol, 23% abuse marijuana, and 22% smoke cigarettes or other vaping devices.

In addition to marijuana, alcohol leads the numbers for the most commonly consumed toxic substance by adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 25. More than 54.1% of this age group stated that they drink alcohol occasionally. Alcohol increases a teen’s substance tolerance, making them much more susceptible to drug addiction and alcohol-induced health risks. Over 50% of American teens drink alcohol before turning 13, and an alarming 70% try alcohol by 17.

Marijuana: The Most Commonly Used Drug by American Teens

Young people, particularly teenagers, are constantly exposed to “cool” activities like drinking, gambling, and smoking. Most of them are pressured to participate to stay up to date with the latest trends among their peers. Teens who are accustomed to smoking are more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. Marijuana use by teens is one of the most widespread issues in the United States.

Currently, 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana, while 37 states allow its use for medical reasons only. In 1996, California became the first state to allow medicinal cannabis, and it legalized its recreational use in 2016. People aged 21 and up are allowed to buy up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates and carry up to 1 ounce — 28 grams — in their possession. Furthermore, people are permitted to have up to six cannabis plants per household.

However, California’s “pot-friendly” image has made it challenging to regulate and prohibit the use of marijuana by teens and young adults. More than 25% of California’s young people are exposed to several potential health risks brought by marijuana.

Why Do the Numbers Keep on Increasing?

The rise in teen alcohol consumption in the United States is linked to various economic and social difficulties, particularly in Los Angeles, one of the most accessible places for partying and substance consumption. Violence, car crashes, illegal activity, and disorganization at school and work are the drug-related issues that most people are concerned about.

Teens are more likely than adults to develop an addiction since they often lack the awareness to make informed decisions. Not all schools in the United States proactively address concerns such as substance abuse and alcoholism. As a result, teens rely on the Internet, which can be a critical source of disinformation, placing them in danger of misunderstanding the effects of drugs and alcohol.

The safest strategy to reduce the chances of your teen abusing substances is to keep them away from their temptations in the first place. The best approach for parents to help their children is to lead by example. A good education begins at home, so parents must act as mentors if they want their children to avoid drugs or alcohol. It is worth remembering that abstinence from dangerous substances prevents the need for professional help.

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