The 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study of drug use and attitudes among teens found that the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana is at its lowest level in over two decades. The figures are as follows:
- 8 percent among 8th graders.
- 4 percent among 10th graders.
- 3 percent among 12th graders.
However, just because these figures are lower than in years past is no reason for complacency. The percentages show that some adolescents are still using nonprescription and prescription drugs of one kind or another. To read the full MTF report, click here.
How Easy is it for Teens to Obtain Drugs?
As a parent, you may be surprised to learn that teenagers often find it easier to get drugs than to acquire alcohol. Of course, every parent wants to prevent their teen from getting a hold of these harmful substances, so it helps to know how teens manage to acquire drugs so easily. Below is a review of where adolescents find it possible to get drugs.
Most homes have medicine cabinets containing drugs of various kinds. It’s easy for a teen to take a few pills from a bathroom cabinet or the cabinet of a friend’s house. New drug experimenters in their early teens are more likely to try prescription drugs than any other kind of drug. They may find they can get a quick high with Xanax or OxyContin. It’s a good idea not to hang on to leftover prescription pills and to keep your medicine cabinet locked.
- How Teens Get Addicted to Drugs – Unfortunately, if adolescents continue to use these drugs, they need higher and higher dosages to achieve the same effect, and this eventually ends up as a full-blown drug dependency. As a parent, you should pay attention if you find you are having to refill your prescriptions faster than you expect.
Most parents are unaware that many drug transactions take place on school premises where teenagers sell drugs they have acquired to others. At school, teens may be able to access a large pool of different drugs provided by teen distributors operating under the radar of school authorities.
It should come as no surprise that a number of drug vendors take advantage of the internet.
- The Dark Web – The dark web is the encrypted “underworld” of the internet that cannot be accessed without special software or authorization. Despite the takedown in 2013 of a very active online drug marketplace called Silk Road, similar shady websites remain alive. Today’s teenagers are tech-savvy, and many understand how to access the dark web in order to purchase drugs online.
- Online Pharmacies – Outside of the dark web, the internet is full of pharmacies that offer drugs for sale illegally, many of them based outside of the U.S. Adolescents can go online and order a wide choice of prescription medications that are shipped in discreet packaging.
The Dangers of Online Drugs
A teen can have no idea whether the drug they have purchased is what they intended to acquire. Moreover, many of these businesses are not selling what they claim to be selling. If they are only selling sugar pills, this is just harmless fraud. However, they could be selling potentially deadly medications – there is no way that an adolescent can know the actual dosage strength of a medication purchased online, making overdosing a real possibility.
Where Can I get Help in Arizona for my Teen with a Drug Addiction
If you suspect your adolescent has a drug abuse problem, talk to Doorways. We can recommend resources to help you and your teen. Adolescent drug abuse is a serious problem, and you need the help of trained professionals. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.