With All the Awareness...

why do teens still do drugs?

What are drugs?

Drugs are chemicals. They change a persons physical or mental state, and most are made for medicine only, but some make a choice to abuse them, for excitement, because of peer-pressure, or just because it's "cool."

Background Information

  • the average age of people who have had their first drink is 14 years old
  • by age 15, 67% of people have had their first drink
  • there are multiple reasons why teens do drugs
  • the use of electronic cigarettes is very high, 8.7 percent of 8th graders are using them
  • 21.2% of high school seniors are using marijuana


  • relax
  • peer-pressure
  • depression
  • gain confidence
  • misinformation from friends
  • feels good
  • excitement


  • birth defects
  • brain damage/ brain development
  • problems with memory
  • possible death
  • seizures, stroke and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life
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Valerie's Story

Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of growing up in church or even knowing God, for that matter. Between the ages of 17 and 22 my life spiraled out of control. Due to drugs, alcohol, and rebellion, I lost everything.

Even though I tried everything the world had to offer, I still couldn’t seem to fill the void in my life. My life was no longer fun and exciting. The feeling of depression took hold of my life and I began to cut myself and play with death.

Joyce's Story

At the age of 13, after my parents’ divorce, I became resentful and started using marijuana. A year later I was pregnant. At the age of 21 I started hanging out with old friends who abused alcohol and Vicodin.

After getting pregnant again, my abusive relationship took an ugly turn. I found myself facing a jail sentence for assault. I was alone, lost, and broken... and 5 months pregnant.

Coty's Story

In the 9th grade I smoked my first joint. By my senior year I was a full-blown addict, addicted to methamphetamines, opiates, and barbiturates. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was too numb to care. I was in and out of drug rehabs, but every time I relapsed a stronger chain would attach itself to me. Within four years of high school graduation I was living out of my car.


I believe the main reasons why teens do drugs even if they know the harms and dangers are...

- wanting to fit in

- peer-pressure

I chose these because they are the most recurring causes that keep coming up in teen addiction stories and are very relevant to the world around us. It's obvious that teens want to fit in, and for some this is the only choice. You hear time and time again, "this was the only way", or "they said if I did it they would like me." Peer-pressure plays a big role in drug abuse or addiction in teens too, although it kind of goes hand in hand with wanting to fit in. Teens want to be "cool" then get in over their heads. They know that its bad but, "only one time won't hurt you" blinds them from any real truth. Finally, teens are highly influenced by their friends, and even with education, no one really knows how terrible drugs can be, until addiction pulls you into a state you didn't think was imaginable.


"Causes of Teen Drug Abuse." - CDAC. Community Drug & Alcohol Council, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.

"Drug Abuse and Mental Health Problems Often Happen Together." Easy to Read Drug Facts. NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health, 18 June 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

"Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction." Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction. Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.

"Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy." Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy. NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

"Success Stories." Success Stories. Teen Challenge USA, n.d. Web. 2015. <http://teenchallengeusa.com/about/success-stories>.

"Teenage Substance Abuse Prevention - Preventing Teen Addiction." Addiction Center Teenage Substance Abuse Prevention Comments. AddictionCenter.com, 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

"Top 8 Reasons Why Teens Try Alcohol and Drugs - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids." Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

"What Are Drugs?" What Are Drugs? State Library of New South Wales, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

"Why Do People Use Drugs? How Do Drugs Work? - Drug-Free World." Why Do People Use Drugs? How Do Drugs Work? - Drug-Free World. Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2006-2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.