What Adolescents Are Using

By a wide margin, teenagers abuse alcohol more than any other substance. It is legal and widely available. Nationwide, teens with alcohol dependency are the majority of adolescents admitted for treatment. Each year, the federal government conducts a survey to determine Americans' patterns of using alcohol and other drugs. This survey, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), provides vital information on a wide array of topics. The survey showed that in 2005, the illicit substances that 12- to-17-year olds reported that they had used the most were, in this order:

  • marijuana
  • prescription drugs including stimulants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and pain relievers such as OxyContin and Vicodin
  • inhalants

Among adolescents, marijuana use is second only to alcohol use. Many people believe that marijuana is harmless. They're wrong.