Drug use among teens is on the decline, according to the latest survey from Monitoring the Future. The organization recently released data on their surveys of drug use and attitudes among U.S. high school students. They found that while use of some drugs is remaining steady, there has been an overall decline in the use of other drugs.
This is great news, but any type of drug use is still a major concern. When people try drugs for the first time in their early teens, they’re more likely to develop addiction problems later on, according to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A teen’s brain is still developing so it can affect function in areas like memory, learning, judgment, and behavior control. If you find that your child needs help with substance abuse, call our center for alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh, Legacy Freedom, today.
Marijuana is the most common drug used by high schoolers, according to the survey. Teens perceive it as less dangerous than other drugs. The majority of high school seniors said that they don’t think smoking it regularly is harmful. Smoking marijuana is more popular than smoking cigarettes. Only 13.6 percent of high school seniors had smoked a cigarette, but over 21 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana in the past 30 days.
Prescription medicines have seen a decline over the years, with fewer students taking pain pills such Vicodin. Only 4.8 percent had taken it in 2014, compared to nearly 10 percent in 2009. Use of prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin remained steady. These drugs are prescribed for attention deficit disorders and are often used by students to help them with schoolwork. Over 55 percent of high school seniors didn’t see them as harmful to take regularly without a prescription.
Use of inhalants such as paint thinners and aerosol sprays is usually the highest among young adults because of easy access to these household products. It’s at its lowest levels for 2014 with only 5.3 percent of kids in the 8th grade reported using it compared to 8.1 percent in 2009.
A decline was also seen in drugs such as MDMA (also know as ecstasy or “molly”), GHB, and ketamine. Use of these drugs by teens dropped from 3.6 percent to 2.3 percent last year. Hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline only made of 4 percent of the drug use among high school seniors.
Research shows that, while on the decline, use of marijuana and prescription pain pills remains the most common drugs abused by teenagers. It may be because they’re seen as less dangerous than other drugs because they’re used to treat medical conditions. It’s important for us to educate young adults about the risks of taking a drug without the supervision of a doctor. A teen may not be aware that there are risk factors involved in using drugs without a prescription that could cause harmful consequences. As our kids become more educated about seemingly “safe” drugs, they will make better choices.
Specialized Drug Treatment in Raleigh NC for Teens
More and more younger people are struggling with drug addiction, but Legacy Freedom of Raleigh is here to help. We offer outpatient alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC to help with your recovery. Our customized treatment plans meet your specific needs. We don’t believe in a “cookie cutter” approach and that’s why we have a proven track record of success for patients for all ages. Call us today to talk with an admissions counselor.