Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Facts About Teen Drug Abuse

Teen drug abuse facts

  • There are many stages of drug abuse, ultimately leading to difficulty in managing one's life as a result of using drugs.
  • Individuals who begin using drugs as juveniles are at greater risk of becoming addicted compared to those who begin drug use as an adult due to the immaturity of the teenage brain, particularly of that part of the brain that controls impulses.
  • The symptoms of drug abuse include tolerance to a substance, withdrawal episodes, using more drugs for longer periods of time, and problems managing life issues due to the use of a drug.
  • Substance abuse is caused by a number of individual, family, genetic, and social factors rather than by any one cause.
  • Although a number of genes play a role in the development of substance abuse, this is a disease in which other factors more strongly influence its occurrence.
  • Substance-abuse treatment is usually treated based on the stage of the addiction, ranging from management of risk factors and education to intensive residential treatment followed by long-term outpatient care and support.

What drugs are abused by teenagers?

Virtually every drug that is abused by adults is also abused by adolescents. In addition to alcohol, common categories of drugs of abuse include the following:
  • Tobacco products (for example, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco)
  • Cannabinoids (for example, marijuana, hashish), sometimes called "pot, weed, Mary Jane, or herb" and is smoked in a "joint," "blunt," "bong," "backwood," or pipe
  • Cold medications (for example, chlorpheniramine and pseudoephedrine [Sudafed], diphenhydramine [Benadryl]
  • Inhalants (for example, gasoline, ammonia), the use of which is often referred to as "huffing"
  • Depressants (for example, barbituratesbenzodiazepines), sometimes called "reds, yellows, yellow jackets, downers or roofies"
  • Stimulants (for example, amphetaminescocainemethamphetamine), sometimes called "bennies, black beauties, speed, uppers, blow, crack, rock, toot, crank, crystal, or skippy"
  • Narcotics (for example, morphineheroincodeineoxycodone[Oxycontin], hydrocodone/acetaminophen [Vicodin], sometimes called cody, schoolboy, dope, Tango and Cash, or monkey"
  • Hallucinogens (for example LSD, "mushrooms"), sometimes called "acid, yellow sunshines, buttons, or shrooms"
  • Dissociative anesthetics (for example, phencyclidine/PCP, ketamine), sometimes called "lovely, boat, Love Boat, angel dust, K, vitamin K, or cat" and whose use is often referred to as "getting wet"
  • Club drugs (for example, Ecstasy), sometimes called "X"
  • Others (for example, anabolic steroids), sometimes called "juice or roids"
  • What are some adolescent drug use statistics?

    • In the U.S., about 3,000 teens smoke their first tobacco cigarette each day. About one-third of those adolescents become daily smokers. However, teen tobacco use generally continues has been declining since 2002.
    • Facts regarding underage drinking in the United States indicate that in 2008, 16% of eighth graders and 29% of 10th graders engaged in that behavior.
    • In 2008, the percentage of 12th-grade adolescents who have used any illicit drug except marijuana in the past month was about 25%, a decrease since 1997, when it was 30%.
    • As of 2010, about 30% of 10th-graders used marijuana in the past year. More than two-thirds of 10th graders said they could easily gain access to that drug.
    • In 2010, almost 3% of 12th graders had used cocaine in the past year, 8% had used the opiate Vicodin, 5% had used inhalants, nearly 5% had used "Ecstasy," and about 1.5% had used anabolic steroids.

    What are the dangerous effects of drug use in teens?

    Here are just a few of the many dangerous effects of drug use in adolescents:
    • Drugs of any kind decreases teens' ability to pay attention.
    • The younger a person is when they begin using drugs the more likely they are to develop a substance-abuse problem and the more likely they are to relapse into drug abuse when trying to quit.
    • Juveniles who use drugs are more likely to have unprotected sex, sex with a stranger, as well as to engage in sexual activity at all. This, in turn, puts them at risk for pregnancyrape commission or victimization, and for sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Substance use can cause or mask other emotional problems, likeanxietydepression, mood swings, or hallucinations (for example, hearing or seeing things). Either of those illnesses can result in death by suicide or homicide.
    • Anabolic steroids have been associated with impotence in boys and men, clitoral enlargement in girls and women, as well as baldness, stunted growth, heart attacksstrokesliver diseasecanceracne and infections, including HIV/AIDS in both sexes.
    • Depending on how the body takes in and processes each kind of drug, substances of abuse can affect virtually every one of the body's systems. Examples of this include permanent brain damage associated with inhalants, heart attack or stroke from stimulants, halted breathing from sedatives. Any of these problems can result in death.

      How can parents prevent drug use?

      Clear communication by parents about the negative physical, emotional, and functional effects of drugs, as well as about their expectations regarding drug use have been found to significantly decrease substance abuse in teens. Adequate parental supervision has also been found to be a deterrent to drug use in youth. Specifically, parents knowing how, where, and with whom adolescents socialize, as well as limiting their children's access to substances that can be abused have been associated with less teenage drug use. Limiting the amount of alcohol, cleaning solutions (inhalants), prescription, and over-the-counter medications that are kept in the home to amounts that can be closely monitored and accounted for has also been found to decrease substance abuse by teens.
      Family focused abuse-prevention programs have produced reductions in adolescent drug abuse. Among ethnic minorities in the United States (for example African Americans, Hispanic, Native and Asian Americans), those who strongly identify with their communities and cultures have been found to be less likely to experience risk factors for using drugs compared to their peers who are less connected to their communities and cultures. Therefore, incorporation of a cultural component to drug-abuse prevention programs may enhance the effectiveness of those programs. Moreover, teens 15 to 16 years old who use religion to cope with stress tend to use drugs significantly less often than their peers who do not use religion to cope.
      Alcohol and other drug use has been found to occur most often between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., immediately after school and prior to parents coming home from work. Teen participation in extracurricular activities has therefore been revealed as an important measure in preventing substance abuse in this age group.

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