21 MAY 2018

5 Terrifying Facts About Teen Drug Abuse and Addiction

Facts on Teen Drug Abuse and Addiction

Teen drug use is on the rise and has been so for a long time. However, it’s never too late to change the tide. It is important to educate yourself and your loved ones on teen addiction. Below are five important facts on teen drug abuse and addiction.

Teen drug use paves the way to addiction

Drug use leads to addiction no matter who you are or how old you are, but studies show that 90 percent of addicts began using drugs before they were 18-years-old. Of all Americans that started using any addictive substance, be it drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or anything else, 25 percent are still addicted into adulthood. The high rates of teenage addiction is largely due to the youths’ developing brains. Addictive substance abuse that starts when a person is in his or her mid-20s already yields less of a threat of addiction.

Drug use starts before college (sometimes before high school)

When talking about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction in the younger population, it is important to keep in mind how young we’re talking about. In modern times, youths start to experiment with drugs as early as junior high, with some starting even younger. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, most teens report first trying cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs when they were only 13-years-old.

Teen drug use lowers IQ scores

It is not a big surprise that drug abuse harms the brain and its functions. Drugs cause serious damage to a teen’s developing brain, and this includes perceived “milder” drugs like marijuana, which is the teen drug of choice. In 2014, scientists revealed that regular marijuana use (at least once a week) actually causes structural changes to a teen’s brain. The targeted regions are those that deal with memory and problem solving, and can lead to a lower IQ in adulthood.

Pills are the new gateway drug

Marijuana has long since been a favorite drug among teenagers, but it is being replaced, or at least forced to share the limelight. Prescription drug abuse has been an ever-increasing problem nationwide across all demographics since the opioid pills typically come from doctors. Approximately 15 percent of high school seniors have abused prescription drugs like OxyContin and Percocet, and 90 percent of those kids continue to abuse other substances.

Huffing causes permanent brain damage

Abusing any substance will not be beneficial to a person’s mind, but huffing (use of toxic inhalants) seems to be more popular among younger groups. This substance can be found in most homes and is very popular among younger adolescents than older ones. Huffing is actually very dangerous and can lead to death or brain damage. Long-term use of inhalants damages the nerve fibers in the brain, which leads to permanent difficulty in walking and talking, and has similar effects to that of multiple sclerosis.