Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome – a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.6
Substance abuse by teens can have a big impact on their overall health and wellbeing. The earlier teens start using substances, the greater their chance of developing substance use problems later in life, including increased risk of addiction.
Sometimes young people use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with mental wellness issues like stress, anxiety, and depression — but doing so is dangerous, and only compounds the problem.
If you have found yourself worried about your substance use/abuse, you’re not alone: by 12th grade, over 66% of teens have tried alcohol, and about 20% have taken a prescription medicine that was not prescribed to them.2
Click the picture below to watch a video about alcohol.
Tips for Teens: Opioids PDF
Test your knowledge on how drugs and alcohol effect your brain and body!
For more information, go to:
Local resources to get help:
6Substance abuse. (2019, November 12). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/#:~:text=Psychoactive substance use can lead,use despite harmful consequences, a
1Find Help: ATOD. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/atod
2Teen Substance Use & Risks. (2020, February 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/features/teen-substance-use.html