Statistics on Teen Substance Abuse (
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According to a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
a young person's average day often includes drinking, smoking, or using illicit drugs.

    On an average day in 2006, about 1.2 million young people, age 12 to 17, smoked cigarettes, 631,000 drank alcohol, and 586,000 used marijuana.

    In addition, about 49,000 young people used inhalants, 27,000 used hallucinogens (e.g., Ecstasy and other club drugs), 13,000 used cocaine, and 3,800 used heroin.

    On an average day in 2006, nearly 8,000 young people drank alcohol for the first time; 4,300 used an illicit drug for the first time; 4,000 smoked their first cigarette; 3,600 smoked marijuana for the first time; and 2,500 used pain relievers for non-medical reasons for the first time.

    In 2005 (the most recent data), more than 76,000 youth were in outpatient treatment; 10,000 in non-hospital residential treatment; and 1,000 in hospital inpatient treatment.

    Teenagers may be involved with legal or illegal drugs in various ways.  Experimentation with drugs during adolescence is common.  Unfortunately, teenagers often don’t see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow.  They also have a tendency to feel indestructible and immune to the problems that others experience. 

    Using alcohol and tobacco at a young age increases the risk of using other drugs later.  Some teens will experiment and stop, or continue to use occasionally, without significant problems.  Others will develop a dependency or addiction, often moving on to more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others.

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