Substance Abuse

In Teenagers

Why Turn To Drugs?

Throughout our lives, we are exposed to many things, both good and bad. There is a lot of pressure on us teens, especially at this point in our lives. The main things we are impelled to try are drugs and alcohol. Teenagers as a whole are very stressed out about loads of things. Worrying about grades while trying to maintain a social life, fitting in and being popular and staying healthy are some of the many things teens think about on a daily basis. This is why many adolescents turn to drugs. Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and adderall are known to be used widely by teens. Marijuana keeps most people calm, causing them to release some of their stress. Cocaine and adderall on the other hand keeps most very alert and attentive, with a good ability to focus on a task without distractions.

What Influences Teens to Try Drugs?

Some of the main reasons why teenagers want to try drugs and/or alcohol include


  • other people into it such as friends and family
  • the media
  • to "escape" their life
  • having a lack of self-confidence
  • peer pressure
  • to seem cool and grown-up
  • curiosity

Did You Know...?

Approximately 20 percent of 12th graders reported drug use in Canada in 2014. Nearly 30 percent had used drugs in the last month.

Signs of Teen Drug Abuse Include...

  • constantly getting bad grades
  • a loss of interest in activities
  • having poor hygiene
  • being secretive
  • consistent tiredness
  • the smell of smoke on clothes or breathe

Did you know that SCHOOL ranked NUMBER ONE as the HIGHEST STRESSOR in a teenagers life?

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Why are drugs so addictive?

When someone is stressed, nervous, scared or experiencing other types of feelings, drugs have a way of stimulating them to get over these emotions. Many people like the high that drugs give them, whether they feel very concentrated and focused or feel very calm and relaxed. Once someone starts taking drugs and experiencing these "rushes", it is very hard to get off drugs. If someone has been taking drugs for a while, their brain will probably become addicted to it, and won't be able to properly function without it. Our brains need to have balance, and once drugs become a "need" not a "want", the brain must maintain harmony, therefore having drugs in the system will help it stay balanced.

Ways to Reduce Stress...

  • relax (try yoga or meditation)
  • breathe deeply
  • listen to music
  • exercise
  • laugh
  • hang out with friends
  • take a nap
  • write in a journal

Famous Celebrities Who Were Addicted to Drugs As Teenagers

Celebrities Who Died Young From Drug Overdose

How to STAY AWAY from these substances?

Hang around with people that you know probably won't participate in these things. But remember, even the brightest of people can be addicted. Be the bigger person whenever you see these actions. Just stick to your gut, say no and walk away! If it is one of your best friends or the most popular kid in your grade offering you drugs, say no, even if you think it will ruin your friendship or make you uncool. It's way more uncool to be abusing drugs than to say no to them!


If you are stressed out or depressed, talk to someone! Many people think it's better to bottle up your emotions and deal with them yourself, but you need to spill your feelings. Find a close friend, family member, teacher, etc. and tell them about your issues. They will help you find ways to cope with it, that don't involve drugs or alcohol.


Get help before it's too late!!

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

If you know someone with an addiction problem, the CAMH is a good place to contact.