Substance Use

Substance use refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. This platform provides data on current teenage substance use statistics, resources on where to get more information, and support if you or someone you know has an unhealthy relationship with mind-altering substances.

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Data on Substance Use

In Youth

Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are substances most commonly used by adolescents. (CDC)

By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana. (

Teens who consistently learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t. (SAMHSA)

At least half of adolescents never experiment with drugs, and only some 20% of them report use of cannabis in the past month. (UNDOC, 2014)

Lethal Substances

2 in 0
12th graders

reported using prescription medicine without a prescription. (CDC)

2.14 million people ages 12 and older had an opioid use disorder in 2016, including 153,000 12- to 17-year-olds. (SAMHSA)

Cannabis & Tobacco

About half of 9th through 12th grade students reported ever having used marijuana. (CDC)

About 4 in 10 9th through 12th grade students reported having tried cigarettes. (CDC)

Cannabis use can compromise school performance, especially in math. Heavy regular marijuana use during teenage years can lead to an IQ drop of up to 8 points. [UNDOC, 2012]

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