Teenagers abuse a variety of drugs, legal and
- Tobacco: Teens who
smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol,
eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely
to use cocaine. Smoking is associated with a host of other risky
behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex.
- Prescribed medications:
(such as Ritalin and OxyContin)
- Inhalants: Known by
such street names as huffing, sniffing and wanging, the dangerous
habit of getting high by inhaling the fumes of common household
products is estimated to claim the lives of more than a thousand
children each year. Many other young people, including some first-time
users, are left with serious respiratory problems and permanent
- Over-the-counter cough, cold,
sleep, and diet medications: (such as Coricidin)
- Marijuana: About one
half of the people in the United States have used marijuana, many
are currently using it and some will require treatment for marijuana
abuse and dependence.
- Stimulants: The possible
long-term effects include tolerance and dependence, violence and
aggression, malnutrition due to suppression of appetite. Crack,
a powerfully addictive stimulant, is the term used for a smokeable
form of cocaine. In 1997, an estimated 1.5 million Americans,
age 12 and older, were chronic cocaine users.
- Club drugs: This term
refers to drugs being used by teens and young adults at all-night
dance parties such as "raves" or "trances,"
dance clubs, and bars. MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, Rohypnol (Rophies),
ketamine, methamphetamine, and LSD are some of the club or party
drugs gaining popularity. Because some club drugs are colorless,
tasteless, and odorless, they can be added unobtrusively to beverages
by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others. In recent
years, there has been an increase in reports of club drugs used
to commit sexual assaults.
- Depressants: These are drugs used medicinally to relieve
anxiety, irritability, and tension. There is a high potential
for abuse and, combined with alcohol, effects are heightened and
risks are multiplied.
- Heroin: Several sources
indicate an increase in new, young users across the country who
are being lured by inexpensive, high-purity heroin that can be
sniffed or smoked instead of injected. Heroin has also been appearing
in more affluent communities.
steroids are a group of powerful compounds closely related to
the male sex hormone testosterone. From 1998 to 1999, there was
a significant increase in anabolic steroid abuse among middle-schoolers.
The use of illegal drugs is increasing, especially
among young teens. The average age of first marijuana use is 14,
and alcohol use can start before age 12. The use of marijuana and
alcohol in high school has become common.
Parents can help through early education about
drugs, open communication, good role modeling, and early recognition
if problems are developing. If there is any suspicion that there
is a problem, parents can consult an addiciton/health care professional
to discuss their options/choices.
To see if a problem exsits, please try the
drug and alcohol
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