Statistics – Teen Drug Use, Abuse and Addiction

In 2008, among persons with substance dependence or abuse, the proportion with dependence on or abuse of illicit drugs also was associated with age: 60.6 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were dependent on or abused drugs compared with 37.4 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 and 24.3 percent of adults aged 26 or older.

Ages of Teens Vs Types of Drugs Used:

Among youths aged 12 to 17, the types of drugs used in the past month varied by age group. Among 12 or 13 year olds, 1.5 percent used prescription-type drugs (xanax, Percocet, oxycontin, etc) nonmedically, 1.2 percent used inhalants (huffing aerosols), and 1.0 percent used marijuana.

Among 14 or 15 year olds, marijuana was the most commonly used drug (5.7 percent), followed by prescription-type drugs used nonmedically (3.0 percent), inhalants (1.3 percent), and hallucinogens (1.0 percent).

Marijuana also was the most commonly used drug among 16 or 17 year olds (12.7 percent); it was followed by prescription-type drugs used nonmedically (4.0 percent), hallucinogens (1.6 percent), cocaine (0.7 percent), and inhalants (0.7 percent).

Persons 12 and older, classified with substance dependence, addiction, or abuse in 2008:

In 2008, an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year (8.9 percent of the population aged 12 or older). Of these, 3.1 million were classified with dependence on or abuse of both alcohol and illicit drugs, 3.9 million were dependent on or abused illicit drugs but not alcohol, and 15.2 million were dependent on or abused alcohol but not illicit drugs.

Drug with the Highest Rate of Dependence or Abuse in 2008:

Marijuana was the illicit drug with the highest rate of past year dependence or abuse in 2008, followed by pain relievers and cocaine. Of the 7.0 million persons aged 12 or older classified with dependence on or abuse of illicit drugs in 2008, 4.2 million were dependent on or abused marijuana or hashish (representing 1.7 percent of the total population aged 12 or older, and 60.1 percent of all those classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse), 1.7 million persons were classified with dependence on or abuse of pain relievers, and 1.4 million persons were classified with dependence on or abuse of cocaine.

Dependence on or Abuse of Specific Illicit Drugs in the Past Year among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2008

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Drug Teen’s are Most Likely to use the First Time Trying or Using a Drug in 2008: In 2008, of the 2.9 million persons aged 12 or older who used illicit drugs for the first time, within the past 12 months, a majority reported that their first drug was marijuana (56.6 percent). Nearly one third initiated with psychotherapeutics (29.6 percent, including 22.5 percent with pain relievers (PERCOCET, OXYCONTIN), 3.2 percent with tranquilizers (XANAX), 3.0 percent with stimulants, and 0.8 percent with sedatives). A sizable proportion reported inhalants (9.7 percent) (HUFFING) as their first drug, and a small proportion used hallucinogens as their first illicit drug (3.2 percent).

Specific Drug Used When Initiating Illicit Drug Use among Past Year Initiates of Illicit Drugs Aged 12 or Older: 2008

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Teen Marijuana Drug Abuse

THE NEED FOR AN INTERVENTION Often, parents need to make the choice to send a teen for treatment in a substance abuse, addiction treatment center. This is due primarily because most teens, ages 12 to 17 (and most people) do not “perceive” a risk to substance abuse behaviors, nor do they think they need help. This lack of perception or acceptance of the risk or need for help, although alarming, is a clear indication and explanation for the need for family members and loved ones to “intervene” and seek help for teens. Denial is a common reaction for struggling teens. See graphs below:

Past Month Binge Drinking and Marijuana Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by Perceptions of Risk: 2008

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Past Year Perceived Need for and Effort Made to Receive Specialty Treatment among Persons Aged 12 or Older Needing, But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug or Alcohol Use: 2008

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Most Teens need help for drug and alcohol abuse

Information above including graphs are courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: www.samhsa.gov