25 Years of Teen Drug Trends

February 8, 2019
25 Years of Teen Drug Trends

As the substance abuse epidemic continues to affect all areas of the country, teen drug and alcohol abuse is a serious concern. While some view experimentation with illicit drugs or underage drinking as a part of the teenage experience, this common misconception is incredibly harmful. Most adults living with substance abuse disorders begin using drugs and alcohol as teens or even younger. Too often youth blinds us to the dangers of illicit substances, potentially leading to life-altering consequences. For teens experiencing addiction, early intervention can make all the difference in securing a better future.

We’ve seen a drastic increase in fatal drug overdose rates since the turn of the century. Between 1999 and 2017:

  • Overdose rates quadrupled from 16,849 to 70,237
  • Opioid abuse including Fentanyl contributed the most: 8,048 (1991) to 47,600 (2017)
  • Prescription opioid overdose increased nearly five times from 3,442 to 17,029
  • Heroin-related overdose increased eightfold from 1,960 to 15,482
  • This includes a six and half time increase between 2007 (2,399) and 2017

While we often paint a certain image of the people behind these kinds of statistics, the reality is they reflect an unfortunate truth across all ages, genders, races, and socioeconomic standing. Yet despite the numbers, thousands of children and teens continue to fall into the trap of drug and alcohol abuse.

                                2015- 2017 Teen Substance Abuse Trends

How Parents Can Help

The fight against teen drug and alcohol abuse begins at home. Keep open channels of communication and talk to your teens about the risks and dangers of substance abuse. Let them know you are always available to listen and help. If you suspect your teen is experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, early intervention is the key to redirecting the path of their future. Safe Landing is here to provide the evidence-based, fully integrated treatment necessary for long-term success in recovery and beyond

Alexandrea Holder

Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.