Drug Use in Adolescence

Tessa Lukens

The Facts About Teen Drug Use

Parents play an important role in a child's risk for drug abuse. It is very important to make sure you keep up with what they are doing and stay very involved in their lives. According to the text, by tenth grade, 40% of US young people have tried cigarettes, 63% drinking, and 38% at least one illegal drug (Berk, 2010). Adolescence is the most influential time in a persons life. To combat the constant pressures and availability of alcohol and drugs, parents must be aware and strict. A study was done to support just how important that role is. 1,428 school children between 11 and 19 were asked about family related variables to drug use and alcohol consumption (Becona, Martinez, Calafat, Fernandez-Hermida, Juan, et al., 2013). They found that most young people who perceived their parents to be permissive and have less maternal control were more likely to use drugs and alcohol. They also found that mothers had more influence on female children while fathers had more influence on male children. Parents need to be involved in their kids life through adolescents and continue to have a healthy relationship with solid communication. Children often turn to drugs when they do not know how to deal with daily stresses or because they are bored. They show adjustment problems, chronic anxiety, and depression. If we educate kids on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse early and get parents involved, we can help reduce the addiction rate.

Signs Your Child is Using

  • Isolates family and friends
  • Extreme mood shifts
  • Grades suffer
  • Sleeps more
  • Loss of interest in activities they usually enjoy

Getting Help

  • Programs are available that teach at risk children effective strategies for handling life stressors and that build up competence through community service.
  • Family and individual therapy are often needed to address root problems.
  • School and Community programs such as D.A.R.E. help kids become educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
  • Calling help lines such as the National Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Alcoholism at 800-662-HELP
Adolescent Substance Abuse Risk Factors | Child Psychology
Becoña, E., Martínez, Ú., Calafat, A., Fernández-Hermida, R., Juan, M., Sumnall, H., & ... Gabrhelík, R. (2013). Parental permissiveness, control, and affect and drug use among adolescents.Psicothema, 25(3), 292-298.


Berk, Laura E., (2010). Development Through The Lifespan. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.