02 Jan 2019

10 Surprising Substance Abuse Statistics You Need to See to Believe

10 Surprising Substance Abuse Statistics You Need to See to Believe

Substance abuse is a rising problem among teenagers in America.

But you might not understand the gravity of the situation. If you're the parent of a teenage child, you need to make sure you understand substance abuse statistics.

Take a look at these 10 substance abuse statistics you need to see to believe.

1. Over 50% of all seniors in high school have used an illicit drug or inhalant at least once.

That means half the students at your teenager's high school have tried drugs or use them on a regular basis. The two biggest offenders on the list are alcohol at 61.5% and marijuana at 45%. Prescription drugs are another common substance students abuse at 16.5%.

2. Roughly 37% of all 10th-grade students have tried an illicit drug or inhalant.

Experimentation with drugs is starting with lower and lower grades. Again, the two most abused substances are alcohol (42.2%) and marijuana (37%).

3. More than 22% of 8th-grade students have experimented with an illicit drug or inhalant.

Even students who haven't started high school have gotten their hands on drugs and alcohol. This age group has had the biggest leap in illicit drug use over the last several years.

4. Only 54.8% of 8th graders believe smoking marijuana has negative impacts on a person's health.

This percentage has had a major decrease in the last two decades. Back in 1991, over 80% of 8th graders understood that smoking marijuana every day had serious, medical consequences. Now over half of the students in 8th grade don't believe marijuana is harmful.

5. Teenagers who start using marijuana before the age of 18 will experience a loss of eight IQ points on average.

Smoking marijuana every day changes the shape of a teenager's brain. the hippocampus deforms under the influence of marijuana, and this alteration leads to scores that are 18% lower on memory tests.

6. Teenagers who use marijuana on a regular basis are seven times more likely to be involved in violent criminal acts.

There is a clear link between marijuana and violent crime. One of the effects of smoking marijuana is an increase in violent criminal acts. The risks of engaging in this type of behavior when using marijuana are the same as ending up with lung cancer after smoking cigarettes.

7. Teenagers who use marijuana are four times more likely to develop depression at some point in their lives.

Smoking marijuana increases the risk of developing any mental illness. For example, people who use marijuana are more likely to end up with schizophrenia, and their chance of psychosis is doubled.

8. Teenagers who smoke pot are three times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.

A lot of people smoke pot to cope with their anxiety disorders, but the dope may be what's causing the problem in the first place. If they didn't start smoking, those teenager's may have never struggled with an anxiety disorder.

9. One of every six young adults (between 18 and 25) struggle with a substance abuse disorder.

Don't just assume your teen's substance abuse problems will disappear after high school. The college-age group of young adults (18 to 25) has the highest amount of people who struggle with addiction at 16%.

10. Over 54 million people over the age of 12 have taken prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes.

More Americans use prescription medication than heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine altogether. When it comes to illicit drugs, prescription drugs fall behind only marijuana. Many people believe prescription drugs are safer than other drugs because a doctor has prescribed them.

Surprising Substance Abuse Statistics

These substance abuse statistics might surprise you, but even if they don't, they should worry you. Your teenager might be well behaved and respectful, but there's still a 50% chance they'll try an illicit drug while in high school.

Worried your teen might be abusing alcohol? Take a look at these five signs your teen is drinking.