Adolescents

Statistics and other data regarding drug use and other risk-taking behavior among young people, as well as drug policies related to young people including prevention, education, social development, healthcare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Drugs Sold at School

(Drugs Sold at School) "Almost half of high school students (44 percent) know a student who sells drugs at their school. When asked what drugs are sold at their school:

• 91 percent said marijuana;
• 24 percent said prescription drugs;
• 9 percent said cocaine; and
• 7 percent said ecstasy."

Social Networking and Drug Use

(Social Networking and Drug Use) "Compared to teens who have never seen pictures on Facebook, MySpace or another social networking site of kids getting drunk, passed out, or using drugs, teens who have seen such pictures are:

• Four times likelier to have used marijuana (25 percent vs. 6 percent);
• More than three times likelier to have used alcohol (43 percent vs. 13 percent); and
• Almost three times likelier to have used tobacco (16 percent vs. 6 percent)."

Ease of Getting Drugs

(Ease of Getting Drugs) "Younger teens (ages 12 to 13 and 14 to 15) are more likely to say that they can get prescription drugs in an hour, and within a day, compared to marijuana, while older teens (16- to 17) are more likely to be able to get to marijuana within a day."

Prescription Medicine Abuse

(Prescription Medicine Abuse) "It is important to note that the negative consequences of prescription medicine abuse remain extensive and troubling. Emergency room visits as a result of prescription medications increased 45 percent between 2004 and 2009 among children under 20 years of age1. Admissions to treatment for prescription medicine abuse among adolescents have also increased and deaths caused by drug overdoses, led by prescription medicines, now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States2."

Illicit Use of Prescription Drugs

(Illicit Use of Prescription Drugs) "Abuse of prescription medicine [by teens] remains high, but there are signs that it may be plateauing. Close to one in five teens (17 percent) say they have used a prescription medicine at least once in their lifetime to get high or change their mood. This is slightly, although not significantly, down from 22 percent in 2010 and from 20 percent in 2009. Use of prescription pain medicines, specifically Vicodin or OxyContin, is trending downward.

Importance of Relationship with Parents

(Importance of Relationship with Parents) "Teens who have high-quality relationships with Mom and Dad are less likely to use drugs, drink or smoke.
"Compared to teens who say they have an excellent relationship with Dad,* teens who have a less than very good relationship with their father are:
• Almost four times likelier to have used marijuana (23 percent vs. 6 percent);
• Twice as likely to have used alcohol (35 percent vs. 16 percent); and
• Two and a half times as likely to have used tobacco (15 percent vs. 6 percent).

Risk Taking and the Adolescent Brain

(Risk Taking and the Adolescent Brain) "In sum, risk taking declines between adolescence and adulthood for two, and perhaps, three reasons. First, the maturation of the cognitive control system, as evidenced by structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex, strengthens individuals’ abilities to engage in longer-term planning and inhibit impulsive behavior.

Depression, Mood Disorders, and Marijuana Use

(Depression, Mood Disorders, and Marijuana Use) "Depressive disorders have an association with alcohol abuse or dependence and cannabis dependence. There are also reciprocal effects of suicidality and substance use. Mood disorders (including bipolar disorders — hypomania and mania) predict increased rates for cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. For anxiety disorders, results were variable."

Predictors of Substance Use

(Predictors of Substance Use) "Social learning variables, peer attitudes (prevalence of norms favourable to deviant behaviour), personal approval (adoption of deviant norms), and peer behaviour have an effect on frequency of alcohol use and alcohol abuse. Alcohol expectancies and peer delinquency predict alcohol consumption of adolescents.
"Going out most evenings and the use of cannabis by peers and older siblings is associated with adolescents’ use of cannabis.

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