In 2002, more than 83 percent of teenagers reported seeing drug and alcohol abuse prevention messages from media sources. But the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that by 2011 that number had dropped to about 75 percent. In the same way, the anti-drug message received by teens at school reached more than 78 percent of teens in 2002 but only made an impression on 74 percent in 2011. Additionally, Newswise says that about 40 percent of teens say they did not have any conversations with parents or guardians that addressed the risks inherent to drug and alcohol abuse.
Drug and Alcohol Attitudes and Behaviors Are Changing among Teens
It should come as no surprise that the attitude that most teens hold about drugs and alcohol and the dangers associated with their use are different now as compared to a decade ago, likely due in large part to the lessons they’ve learned—or not learned—at home, school and out in the world. Another SAMHSA report says that the perceived risk of drinking large amounts of alcohol has increased slightly in the last 10 years among teens, but the perceived risk of smoking marijuana has dropped by almost 10 percent. At the same time, binge drinking rates dropped and the use of marijuana increased among teens.
Pamela S. Hyde is an administrator at SAMHSA. She says, “To prevent substance abuse among our adolescents, our young people have to know the facts about the real risks of substance abuse, and we’re not doing a very good job of that right now. It is time for all of us—the public health community, parents, teachers, caregivers and peers—to double our efforts in educating our youth about substance use and engaging them in meaningful conversations about these issues, so that they can make safe and healthy decisions when offered alcohol or drugs.”
Addressing Substance Abuse Issues in Your Teen
If your son is abusing drugs or alcohol and you don’t know how to help, we can be of assistance. At Muir Wood, we offer intensive treatment to substance-abusing teen boys to aid them and their families in getting back on track. You are an instrumental part of your son’s recovery. Call now to find out more about the therapeutic and treatment options we offer here at Muir Wood or begin the enrollment process by downloading the application packet online.