Do Fewer Teens Need Drug Awareness Classes?

by Mike Miller February 13, 2014

As difficult as it may be to believe, especially if you have teenagers living at home, a recent report actually shows that fewer teens are abusing prescription medication and smoking cigarettes than they were five years ago.

According to a report released in January by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration fewer teens are smoking tobacco cigarettes and fewer are using prescription medications – especially painkillers.

In one of the milestone statistics, smoking tobacco among teens has dropped from 9.2% in 2008 to 6.6% in 2012. Of course this says nothing as to how many are smoking marijuana, which most experts has doubled in the past 10 years. As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes I am surprised that this study showed a decrease in both teens and young adults usage of prescription painkillers. The rate for teens has dropped from 9.2% to 8.7%, while use among young adults has decreased from 12% to 9.8%.

The marijuana use increase might be best illustrated by the fact the rate for teens use of illicit drugs has remained the same at 9.5%.

How these numbers figure into depression is beyond me as depression has increased from 2008 to 2012 among teens, rising to 9.1% from 8.3%.

With respect to substance abuse treatment, more teens are in substance abuse treatment in 2012, 1.25 million, as compared to 1.19 million back in 2008.

What are your thoughts on these stats? My belief is that we still have a long road ahead to battle drug use and abuse among our youth.

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