4 MIN READ | Psychotherapy

Adam Mulligan

Teenage Drug Addiction Statistics

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Adam Mulligan, (2022, May 20). Teenage Drug Addiction Statistics. Psychreg on Psychotherapy. https://www.psychreg.org/teenage-drug-addiction-statistics/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Drug addiction is increasing day by day, particularly among teens and youngsters. As lifestyles change rapidly along with social-economic activities and cultures, more and more young people are getting addicted to drugs. It may be frustrations from not getting proper care and love from parents, depression at being unable to attain the desired goal, or failure in exams and sports, etc. Many youngsters try drugs out of curiosity and end up becoming addicts. There is not one specific reason teenagers are becoming drug addicts. However, the main reason is to enhance the feel-good factor in the mind using illegal and contraband drugs. While some teens use alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal drugs, some teens use prescribed drugs to stimulate the ecstatic feeling in the brain.  Learn about our Los Angeles teen addiction treatment programmes.

Some statistics

If we look at the statistics of various drugs consumed by teens and youths, we find that around 50% of teens consume marijuana, hash, or synthetic marijuana. Approximately 5% get addicted to MDMA or ecstasy, 4% to cocaine and around 10% consume inhalants, salvia, or hallucinogens. This can heavily effect a teenager’s decision making and may ultimately lead to needing to teen mental health treatment.

Again, many teens use prescribed and OTC medicines. Around 8% of the youth are addicted to taking Adderall, 10% consume cough syrup containing codeine phosphate and sedatives. About 7% take Ritalin and oxycontin, prescribed for them or for others.

About 30% of teens in high school use tobacco products and vape, with the most popular product being the JUUL. They smoke, chew, and dip tobacco. Alcohol consumption is also typical for youths. Studies showed that around 70% of teens admit using alcohol as they near the age of 18, and 14% drink excessively. Drinking and driving are increasing day by day, and the number of fatal accidents is soaring high. Taking drugs is not only affecting the teens’ minds and brains, but they are committing more crimes under the influence or falling victim to them. The number of rapes, burglaries, kidnappings, and thefts is increasing alarmingly. Having safe sex with partners is also compromised, leading to other health disorders such as STDs and AIDs.

Very recent studies have shown that vaping is almost doubling among adolescents every year. It was 7.5% for grade 12 students and 7% for grade 10 teens in 2019. Although the graph slightly came down in 2020 because of the worldwide COVID pandemic, these numbers are expected to double or triple each year in the future. Again, the graph is rising steadily as the world is gradually becoming normal and international flights have begun operations allowing drug peddlers to smuggle the contraband items throughout the globe.

Various stages of teen drug abuse and the facts

Los Angeles Teens, and teens in general don’t start abusing drugs the first time they use them. Almost all teens experience the drug for the first time with friends, and then become addicted to the feeling, as it’s something they’ve never felt before. They are also often influenced by drug-addicted parents. However, the addiction levels have many stages. It becomes difficult for a youngster to get rid of this deadly habit formed at an early age. However, nothing is impossible if the urge to get rid of the teen drug addiction comes from inside.

Studies have proven that early age drug addiction is challenging to overcome as the brain’s impulses get disrupted and the influence of drugs often controls the functioning. Programs like our Los Angeles Teen Treatment Program or Teen IOP can drastically help teens that need structure, and help with their day to day. Drugs increase the secretion of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, giving that feel-good factor. However, as the secretion increases, the brain cannot flush it out, and many brain disorders and nerve problems occur, including stroke.

Some of the most common symptoms of drug abuse are withdrawal episodes, intolerance to something or someone, unnatural behavior, and many more. 

Scientists have found that one of the primary reasons for the growing number of drug addicts is the gene factor. The lower-class socio-economic conditions lead the youngster to abuse their body and brain with drugs. Teenage drug abuse is more of a disease than recreation. At least studies made by psychiatrists and counselors concluded that most teen drug abusers suffer from some character-related disease or are influenced by the circumstances and economic conditions of their lifestyle.  

Teen Alcohol addiction is still a large issue, and is often mixed with many other drug alternatives, which give more immense satisfaction to the brain. The chances of getting caught by parents are reduced significantly, as many illicit drugs have no smell. Studies also found that as much as 50% of the teenage population had tried taking drugs some time or other, and out of these, 25% have turned addicts and continued taking illicit drugs. There is a substantial increase in marijuana use among teens. Legalisation in some areas has contributed to this problem. In some places, teens can get the drug, then sell it to younger children.

The number of adolescents contacting Los Angeles teen drug rehab centers or discussing the matter with the counselors, parents and teachers in the school is increasing day by day. That is a good sign as they understand the terrible effects they are inviting in life. Contact us today if you are a parent, or struggling teen and want to have a confidential discussion with an addiction expert.


Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.


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