Youth Substance Misuse

Did You Know?

Every year

That substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, 

the risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases

People who began using addictive substances before

age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier

to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older

Source: Peterson, Sarah. “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.” The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 1 Nov. 2019,



Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigs)

Prescription Drug & Opioids


Talk with young people early and often about the dangers of underage drinking.

With your help, we can make sure that young people understand that they do not need to drink to fit in, have fun, or deal with the pressures of growing up.


Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigs, short for electronic cigarettes, look like cigarettes but use battery power to heat a liquid that will produce a vapor. The vapor can contain a mixture of nicotine and flavoring or just a flavored vapor without nicotine. Also known as “E-Hookahs,” “Hookah Pens,” or “Vape Pens.” Often referred to by teens as “vaping.”

E-Cig Use Among Teens Doubled from 2011 to 2012
Recent e-cigarette news reports indicate that “the share of high school students who had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days increased from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent in the survey. More than 1.78 million middle and high school students tried e-cigarettes in 2012.” (Source: CT Post)


Studies show that marijuana interferes with attention, motivation, memory, and learning.

Students who use marijuana regularly tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school than those who don’t use.

Letter To Teens


“Did you know that teen marijuana use has dropped dramatically since the late 1990s?

So, if you were thinking everyone smokes marijuana, they don’t.

Statistics show that about 7 percent, or roughly 1 in 14 teens, report using marijuana in the past month.

However, many teens do not consider marijuana to be a harmful drug. Some believe marijuana cannot be harmful because it is “natural.”

But not all natural plants are good for you—take tobacco, for example.

One serious risk is addiction. In 2013, around 4.2 million people 12 and older had a marijuana abuse or addiction problem. Marijuana is not as harmless as you may think.

Look inside this booklet to find out more. Our goal is to give you the straight facts so you can make smart choices and be your best self—without drugs.

And we hope you will continue the conversation and share this information with your friends, parents, teachers, and others.”

-Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Prescription Drugs & Opioids

20% of people, 12 years and older, have abused or misused prescription medication in their lifetimes. Most teens, who report abusing prescription medication, get these drugs from friends and relatives, at times without the person knowing.

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Additional Resources

For more ways to help yourself and loved ones, please visit our list of local and online resources.