Teenage Substance Use & Teen Addiction Symptoms| CASAColumbia

Prevention in Teens

Teen Substance Use

Use of addictive substances—tobacco/nicotine, alcohol and other drugs—during adolescence interferes with brain development, reduces academic performance and increases the risk of accidents, homicides, suicides and serious health conditions, including addiction. Teens and young adults are more inclined than adults to take risks, including smoking, drinking or using other drugs. Use of any addictive substance while the brain is still developing increases the chances of future use of that and other addictive substances.  

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The earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction:

  • 9 out of 10 people with addiction involving nicotine alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were18
  • People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to become addicted than those who delay first use until age 21 or older
  • Every year that substance use is delayed during brain development, the risk of addiction decreases

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9 out of 10 people with addiction started using substances before they turned 18.

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Warning Signs of Teen Substance Use

Warning Signs of Teen Substance Use 

Certain symptoms and behaviors are warning signs for substance use in teens, although they may also indicate other problems, such as depression. Warning signs can include:

  • Alcohol, smoke or other chemical odors on your child’s or their friends’ breath or clothing
  • Obvious intoxication, dizziness or bizarre behavior
  • Changes in dress and grooming
  • Changes in choice of friends
  • Frequent arguments, sudden mood changes and unexplained violent actions
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies
  • School problems such as declining or failing grades, poor attendance and recent discipline problems
  • Trauma or frequent injuries
  • Runaway and delinquent behavior
  • Depressed mood or talk about depression or suicide; suicide attempts

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). “Substance Abuse Prevention”

References

  • CASAColumbia. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America's #1 public health problem.

Addiction prevention in teens callout(family day)

 

CASAColumbia Family Day – Be Involved. Stay Involved.® is a national movement to raise awareness about the important role parents play in raising substance-free kids. Launched in 2001, Family Day celebrates the time parents spend with their kids and encourages them to use those everyday moments as opportunities to connect, share and build a strong bond with their children.

Why is parental engagement so important?

Children of hands-on parents are far less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs. Highly engaged parents are more likely to notice some of the warning signs of substance use.

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