TEEN SUBSTANCE USE
Use of addictive substances—tobacco/nicotine, alcohol and other drugs—during adolescence interferes with brain development, reduces academic performance and increases the risk of accidents, homicides, suicides and serious health conditions, including addiction. Teens and young adults are more inclined than adults to take risks, including smoking, drinking or using other drugs. Use of any addictive substance while the brain is still developing increases the chances of future use of that and other addictive substances.
THE EARLIER AN INDIVIDUAL STARTS SMOKING, DRINKING OR USING OTHER DRUGS, THE GREATER THE LIKELIHOOD OF DEVELOPING ADDICTION:
- 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18
- People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older
- Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases
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National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction)
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (https://learnaboutsam.org/)
National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.drugabuse.gov/)