Approximately one third of high school seniors report using an illicit drug at some point in the past year. More than ten percent report nonmedical use of prescription painkillers, and 20 percent smoking marijuana within the last 30 days. Adolescence is the time in which teens are most likely to experiment with drugs. It is also the period they are most at risk of addiction.
Teens who begin using any addictive substance before age 18 are six and a half times more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who wait until age 21. According to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health, over one million youth needed treatment for substance dependence in 2013 alone.
Despite the hard reality of these facts, substance abuse and drug addiction have become some of the largest epidemics among today’s youth. It is our mission, as addiction treatment professionals, as educators, as families and friends, to increase awareness about the disease of addiction and the consequences of teen drug use.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, a national health observance, is exactly that effort. Since 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has annually dedicated an entire week to educating teens about the realities of substance addiction. January 26th, 2016 begins this year’s dialogue about drugs and substance abuse. Turnbridge invites you to join the conversation.
On a daily basis, your teen is inadvertently fed misinformation about drugs and alcohol—the media, internet, and popular culture have all misconstrued the truths of substance abuse, masking drugs as both “harmless” and “glamorous.” The goal of National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is to replace those misconceptions with the facts. This week gives us all the opportunity to spread awareness about the dangers of substance abuse, and further show teens how to make safe, smart, and practical decisions.
During the week-long observance of NDAFW, adolescents, young adults, and scientific experts will come together to combat the myths about drug abuse and addiction. This year, the NIDA, addiction professionals, and science experts will assemble across schools, clubs, and events nationwide to have an honest conversation about the impact of drug abuse on teens today. Youth will be given the chance to ask questions and share stories about the consequences of substance abuse in a safe environment.
If you would like to learn more about National Drug Facts Week 2016, or find local events in your area, please reference the official NIDA website here. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has created many free, interactive materials for your teen to enjoy or share with peers.
For more facts on adolescent drug abuse, please visit our Addiction Infographics. If you are seeking more information about drug treatment for your teen, please do not hesitate to call Turnbridge at 877-581-1793.