TEEN SUBSTANCE ABUSE - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms-Watson
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Parents play an important and crucial role in the lives of their children. As the children grow to become pre-teenagers and adolescents, parents become worried about new risks that their children may encounter. First and foremost is the risk of using substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and various drugs. Talking to a pediatrician regarding screening for substance use of their children is the best strategy that a parent should do to avoid substance abuse.

Substance used by teenagers will surely affect their health. Through the cooperation agreement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), they built up a guide for implementing substance use screening in pediatric practices. It enables pediatricians to determine concerns with regards to substance abuse. The AAP suggests screening for substance use in children beginning at 9 years old.


The following guidelines below are the most commonly used substances by pre-teenagers:

  • Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are substances most commonly used by adolescents
  • During12th grade, about two-thirds of students already tried alcohol
  • Almosthalf of 9th to 12th-grade students have been reported to use marijuana
  • About 4 in 10 students in 12th gradehave been reported trying cigarettes
  • Among 12th gradestudents,  two out of 10 were reported to use prescription drugs without a prescription


Teen substance abuse may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Badly affectingthe growth and development of teens
  • Havingan impact on brain development
  • Exhibitingrisky behaviors
  • Widespreadunprotected sex and dangerous driving
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irritability
  • Inability to control oneself
  • Both physically and mentally ill


At earlier stages when teens start using illegal substances, the possibility of continuing their use of those substances is greater and may, later on, develop problems. When teenagers begin drinking at an early age, they will more likely be addicted to the said substance.


Teen substance abuse treatment may include the following activities:

  • Monitoring how much and how oftenthe substance is consumed by the individual
  • Supporting the implementation, adoption, and promotion of effective involvement, including alcohol screening and brief counselingto teenagers
  • Implement programsthat increase a person’s motivation and commitment to reduce or stop drinking and/or use of birth control effectively
  • Enhancing healthcare provider education on preventing teen substance abuse
  • Identifying and treating peoplewith substance abuse
  • Providing free online training courseson preventing substance abuse to enlighten the minds of those young children as well as the adults

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