Drug And Alcohol Use Among Teenagers

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Drug and alcohol use of persons under the age of 18 is prevalent (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2014). “Illicit drug use among teenagers remains high, largely due to increasing popularity of marijuana” (NIDA, 2014, pg.2). In 2013, approximately 7% of 8th graders, 18% of 10th graders, and 22% of 12th graders used marijuana in the past month. These rates have increased since the mid to late 2000’s. “6.5% of 12th graders now use marijuana every day, compared to 5% in the mid-2000’s” (NIDA, 2014, pg.2). Alcohol use has declined since the late 1900’s but in 2013, 3.5 % of 8th graders, 12.8% and 26% of 12th graders reported getting drunk in the past month (NIDA, 2014). In addition, in 2013, 16.3% of 12th graders were current cigarette smokers (NIDA, 2014). It appears that middle-school students are using drugs and alcohol; therefore, it is necessary to explore prevention for this age group (Chen, Storr & Anthony, 2008). The transition from middle to high school may be a challenge for students, both academically and socially (Botvin, Griffin & Nichols, 2006). Additionally, frequency of substance initiation and use, typically increase during the high school years (King and Chassin (2007). Furthermore, adolescents who use substances are more likely to experiment with more than one substance (Chen, Storr & Anthony, 2008). Poly-substance use is related to a number of challenging outcomes (Toumbourou and Catalano, 2005). These include, negative social consequences,
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