Substance abuse can change often, especially the type of drugs used, as new drugs find their way to the street. What doesn’t change is that it can affect anyone from middle age adults, grandparents and teenagers. Here’s seven facts about adolescent substance abuse in Utah.
In Utah, 11 percent of high school students surveyed reported drinking alcohol
before they were 13 years of age. That means that by the time they were 13 years old, 11 percent of adolescents have tried drinking. While that’s under the 20 percent national average, it is still a shocking number.
- Of the 11 percent of high school students who drank alcohol, almost
half (39 percent) stated that the alcohol they drank was given to them.
They didn’t sneak the alcohol or steal it, but were given it to drink.
Four percent of students reported driving after drinking alcohol
and an additional 13 percent stated they had gotten in a car when the driver had been previously drinking. We know driving while impaired can be deadly and we educate our students. But it’s important to further educate on when a person is considered impaired.
Inhalants, like glue, aerosol spray cans or paint have been used by 11 percent of high school students
to get high. These are items that are commonly found and easily accessible in any household. They work by depriving the brain and body of oxygen while they person using fills their lungs with damaging gases.
3 percent of Utah teens, and teens nationwide, use recreational drugs,
such as cocaine.
- Just as dangerous is the
seven percent of high school students who use pain relievers
for “nonmedical” reasons. Drugs like Oxycodon, Vicodin and Percocet are being very quickly prescribed by doctors. Teenagers either gain access to them from their own prescriptions, like after their wisdom teeth removal, or by stealing them from their parents’ medicine cabinet.
- Not only are teens using and experimenting, but they are self-reporting as needing help and are not receiving any.
Four percent of teens said they needed treatment
for alcohol use and did not receive it. Four percent also said they needed treatment for illicit drug use and did not receive it.
It’s easy to think that it would never happen to you or your child and dismiss the facts. Nearly 1 in 25 high school students say they have a problem and need help. It’s important for you to know the signs of addiction and to openly talk with your children.
If you suspect your child is using drugs or alcohol, let them know you are there to support them throughout rehabilitation and recovery. If necessary, host an intervention using these tips.
For more information about Utah substance abuse, visit this article from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Are you, or someone you know dealing with adolescent addiction? Share this article with them and learn more about drug alcohol rehab treatment in Utah.