How to Help Prevent Teen Substance Abuse Part 2

Why is teen substance abuse the silent epidemic targeting our youth?

by Cathy Taughinbaugh, Parent Recovery and Life Coach and Founder of Treatment Talk

One of the ways to prevent teen substance abuse is knowledge. Here are some facts to help you understand the dangers of drug use and abuse.

From SAMA (Science and Management of Addictions)

"Over half of America's teens have tried illicit drugs by the time they finish high school."

"Addiction targets teens. Illicit drug use peaks during late adolescence and young adulthood."

"Addiction is the silent epidemic targeting our youth."

"95% of people with a life time dependence to alcohol and other drugs started using as adolescents."

“10 million Americans have cancer. 23 million Americans suffer from substance addiction."  

From The Partnership at DrugFree.org

“With youth experimenting with drugs at an earlier and earlier age, it is incumbent on all stakeholders to identify and collaborate on successful educational strategies that will help change behaviors.”

“Prescription Drug Abuse causes one accidental overdose death every 19 minutes; more than the number of deaths from car crashes. That’s a sobering statistic.”

“Parents have more influence over their child than friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities.”

“Kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not.”

“More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse than die from heroin and cocaine combined.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

From NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and their director Dr. Nora D. Volkow

“Regular marijuana use in adolescence is known to be part of a cluster of behaviors that can produce enduring detrimental effects and alter the trajectory of a young person’s life—thwarting his or her potential. Beyond potentially lowering IQ, teen marijuana use is linked to school dropout, other drug use and mental health problems.” Dr. Nora D. Volkow

“Since it decreases IQ, regular marijuana use stands to jeopardize a young person’s chances of success in school.” Dr. Nora D. Volkow

“About a third of high school seniors report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller.”

“Early use of drugs increases a person's chances of more serious drug abuse and addiction. Remember, drugs change brains - and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems. So preventing early use of drugs or alcohol may reduce the risk of progressing to later abuse and addiction.”

“Drinking and driving can add up to tragic endings. In the U.S., about 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking, nearly 40 percent (1,900) in car crashes.”

Talk and listen often to help your teen stay safe and make healthy choices.


Cathy Taughinbaugh is one of three Bay Area moms writing Parent to Parent ~ a blog sharing concerns about substance abuse. Lisa Frederiksen, Author Speaker Consultant and Founder of BreakingTheCycles.com and Shelley Richanbach, Certified Addictions Specialist, Peer Facilitator and Founder of Next Steps for Women, round out the Parent to Parent team. Check back every Wednesday as one of these moms will share their expertise and personal experiences with substance use, abuse, addiction and recovery. And if you find yourself in any one of their stories, consider attending their March 3, 2013, Substance Abuse Workshop for Parents.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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