When we’re young, we feel we’re bulletproof. That’s why a 15-year-old would try meth at a party when an adult could run for the door. What? I’m young. I won’t get addicted to this stuff.
At Monuments, many of our patients are teenage addicts, so here’s a little more information about this group of young people.
Approximately 16% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 has a substance problem. Here’s the breakdown:
- Nicotine (approximately 9%)
- Alcohol (approximately 7%)
- Illegal drugs (approximately 2%)
- Prescription drugs (approximately 1%)
The numbers are higher than 16% because many people have more than one type of substance problem. In fact more than 1 in 6 people with substance problems have multiple substance disorders.
Early beginnings mean early addictions
Studies show that the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking, or using drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction:
- 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18
- People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times more likely to develop a substance problem than those who delay their first use until age 21 or older
- Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases
Use of addictive substances — nicotine, alcohol, and drugs — during adolescence interferes with the person’s brain development, reduces academic performance, and increases the risk of accidents, homicides, suicides, and serious health conditions, including addiction.
If you think your teenage son is having substance issues, please call us at Monuments, (800) 559-1980. We can help. We specialize in therapy and training for adolescent boys ages 14 to 18.