Drugs don't discriminate, and will destroy young potential as readily as they do adult lives.
From the very young to the oldest of seniors, drugs never discriminate; and those who experiment with recreational drug use too often find themselves dependant and trapped within a negative cycle of addiction and despair.
Younger users are particularly susceptible to the addictive nature of drugs and alcohol, and the younger a youth starts experimenting with drugs or alcohol, the greater the eventual probability of addiction.
Parents often wonder how their son or daughter could have fallen into drug abuse or addiction, but when you look at the admission statistic to drug and alcohol treatment facilities, the teens engaging in therapies within are a representative cross section of America, and anyone rich or poor can fall victim to drug or alcohol addiction.
Statistics of Teen Admissions to Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities
- Marijuana addiction and abuse represents by far the largest percentage of youth admissions to drug treatment facilities with 64% of all entries. Alcohol takes second with 19% and opiates, stimulants and other drugs of abuse make up the rest.
- 58% of all admissions to drug or alcohol treatment facilities are white, 19% black, and 17% Hispanic.
- 52% of youth in treatment were referred to mandated treatment through the criminal justice system, 17% initiated treatment of their own or familial accord, and 11% entered treatment through school involvement.
- Only 2% of youth in drug treatment needed intensive detoxification for their addiction or abuse.
- 20% of youth entering into drug or alcohol treatment had a concurrent mental disorder.
- Youth aged 12-17 account for 8% of all admissions into drug treatment.
- 14% of all youth in treatment started using drugs or alcohol before the age of 13.
Nothing about addiction or abuse is certain, and some teens emerge from very difficult environments, familial situations and heredities to never abuse drugs or alcohol; and some teens raised in homes with no abuse, with no familial history of abuse, and with parents who engage in preventative measures, still fall victim to abuse or addiction.
The period of adolescence is a stage of experimentation and also of risk taking behaviors, but the consequences of drug and alcohol use during this stage of life are great. Parents need to engage in active preventative measures against drug and alcohol use and maintain appropriate discipline against use behaviors. If use is observed, parents need to quickly evaluate the level of abuse or addiction, and get professional help if at all needed.
The longer use, abuse or dependence is allowed to continue, the greater the mental physical and social destruction; and unfortunately, with greater addiction comes a greatly increased difficulty in providing effective treatment. Abuse problems do not go away of their own accord, and parents in denial to the extent of a problem cannot protect their very vulnerable teenage children as they need and deserve.
It is always better to err on the side of caution, and if ever in doubt about the true extent of use behaviors, to get immediate professional intervention and treatment. It may not be necessary, but doing too much is vastly preferable to doing too little…and potentially living through the heartbreak and destruction of full blown addiction.
Page last updated Nov 08, 2010