Teen Substance Use is America’s #1 Problem According to Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University recently reported that substance use among teens was the worst public health problem in the nation.

The study concluded that the following were considered problems “of epidemic proportions”: teen smoking, drinking, misusing prescription drugs and using illegal drugs. However, the types of prescription and illegal drugs are unknown. 

CASA’s report includes information about the origin of addiction and it’s correlation with substance use and adolescence. The report highlighted a few interesting findings:

•90 percent of Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18.

•1 in 4 Americans who began using any addictive substance before age 18 developed an addiction, compared to 1 in 25 Americans who started using at age 21 or older.

•75 percent of all high school students have used addictive substances including tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine; 1 in 5 of them meets the medical criteria for addiction.

•46 percent of all high school students currently use addictive substances; 1 in 3 of them meets the medical criteria for addiction.

CASA’s Vice President and Director of Policy Research and Analysis made the following statement: “The problem is not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we are failing to act. It is time to recognize teen substance use as a preventable public health problem and addiction as a treatable medical disease, and to respond to it as fiercely as we would to any other public health epidemic threatening the safety of our children.”

Source: http://www.cadca.org/resources/detail/casa-calls-teen-substance-use-americas-no-1-health-problem

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