The kids are alright! The most recently published Monitoring the Future survey released by The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that children and young adults have been engaging in far less harmful drug-related activity than in previous years. Kids are smoking fewer cigarettes, drinking less alcohol, and experimenting far less with synthetic drugs and prescription medications. Interestingly enough, however, the marijuana rates have remained stable despite increased legalization. When the survey was taken, 6.5% of 8th graders admitted to smoking within the past month, while 16.6% of 10th graders and 21.2% of 12th graders had smoked within the past month. Though since rates of abuse relating to synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as Spice, have been on the steady decline, authorities firmly believe this is overall a highly positive trend.
Continued Intervention is a Necessity
Of course, a decline in drug abuse amongst teenagers does not mean that parents and other authoritative figures should become complacent. The lessened prevalence of use may in fact be a direct result of increased intervention and preventative programs geared towards adolescents. An increase in educational campaigns over the course of the past several years in addition to increased awareness in the national health care system have undeniably contributed to the decrease in youth substance abuse. A continued pervasiveness of programs in elementary and high schools and throughout communities will undeniably help to wipe out teen drug abuse even further.
Heroin Abuse Still An Issue Amongst Teens
Despite these upward looking trends, teenagers still struggle with drug abuse to quite an alarming degree. While rates of smoking and prescription medication abuse are down, the rates of heroin abuse amongst teenagers and young adults have skyrocketed in recent years. In a unfortunate amount of instances, cases of heroin addiction that take place in unsuspecting suburban, middle-class homes go unnoticed until it is too late. It is important for parents to understand that street drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are now beginning to infiltrate upper and middle-class communities. If you believe that your child may be battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is important to get the proper information you need in order to get them the help they deserve. Contact one of our trained representatives to find out what actions you need to take and what specifically you can do to help.