Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Report Examines Substance Abuse Among Adolescents

Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration releases an updated report to identify the substance abuse issues that are most common among teens and young adults. Called the CBHSQ Report, different issues pertaining to drug and alcohol use among adolescents are explored, including:

  1. First use of drugs and alcohol
  2. Whether or not drugs were used during the year prior to the survey
  3. Number of emergency room visits associated with drug use among teens
  4. Whether or not drug rehab was sought for those who needed it

Gathering this information means that parents, teachers, medical providers, and others in the community can work together to identify the risks of addiction, overdose, accident, and other issues related to chronic drug abuse, and make sure that teens are getting the help they need to overcome the problem.

CBHSQ: Trends Among Teens

So what do we know about adolescents and their use of drugs and alcohol in the United States? According to the survey, the following is true:

  1. In 2011, there were about 25.1 million kids between the ages of 12 and 17 living in the US.
  2. Of this number, about 25 percent drank alcohol, 20 percent used an illicit substance other than alcohol, and about 12 percent smoked cigarettes.
  3. Though the number of teens actively abusing drugs and alcohol dropped between 2008 and 2011, the number of kids in the 12-to-17 age group seeking treatment for substance abuse stayed about the same.
  4. As for emergency room admissions among teens for the purposes of treating issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, those numbers remained stable between 2004 and 2011 as well.
  5. In 2010, an estimated 7.3 percent of all patients admitted to public drug rehab programs were between the ages of 12 and 17.

What Do the Numbers Mean to You and Your Son?

In the end, if your son is struggling with a substance abuse problem, the numbers mean very little – other than to let you know that what you are going through is a common struggle among families across the country.

You are not alone in facing it, either. Intensive treatment programs designed specifically for the needs of teens—like the program here at Muir Wood—can help your son stop drinking and using drugs immediately while learning how to make choices that promote his best interest, ongoing health and positive relationships with others. Call now to learn more.