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Americans consistently identify drug use as being one of the major problems confronting this nation’s school systems.

Drug use among young people is ten times more prevalent than parents suspect.

Drug use among young people is not confined to specific geographical areas or any certain economic background.

Although the drug trade is controlled by adults, the immediate source of drugs for most students is other students.

Easy access and availability of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs make it difficult to keep young people out of harm ’s way.

Young people who smoke tobacco are more likely than others to drink heavily later on or use drugs. Successfully keeping young people from smoking may help to prevent the use of other drugs.

Young people who use alcohol or drugs are more likely to become victims or perpetrators of violence.

Young people who use alcohol or drugs are more likely to engage in unplanned and unprotected sex.

Young people who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to experience school failure.

Young people who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to be seriously injured from driving or engaging in other risky behaviors.

According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, twenty-five percent of youth ages 16 and 17 had used marijuana in the previous year.

By age 13, half of the nation’s teens say they can buy marijuana, and 43 percent say they can buy acid, cocaine, and heroin.

Fewer young people see harm in using drugs. (This fact is very alarming since understanding the dangers of drug use is one of the greatest deterrents of its use by young people.)

Drug use is closely tied to our young people being truant and dropping out of school.

The United States has the highest rate of teenage drug use of any nation in the industrialized world.

Fifty-seven percent of youth contacting a national cocaine hotline revealed that most all drugs, except for alcohol, are purchased at school.

Twenty-eight percent of marijuana users said they have smoked marijuana at school.


Cases of Heroin, Ecstasy, Oxycontin, and Synthetic Drug Use are on the Rise with America’s Youth

New research suggests that pain relievers such as Oxycontin could lead to heroin use if not taken according to the recommended dosage. The U. S. Customs Office released figures that showed a rise of astounding proportions in the amount of Ecstasy coming into the United States. In 1999 Customs seized 3.5 million Ecstasy tablets. That figure jumped to an alarming 9.3 million tablets in 2000. 2001 figures are running at figures equal to those of 2000. In 1989 twenty-two percent of twelfth graders said they could get Ecstasy very easily. This number increased to forty percent in 1999 and to fifty-one percent in 2000. The U. S. Military said drug testing by both the Air Force, Army, and Navy in 2001 indicated that Ecstasy use had increased by 12 times from what it was in 1999. Recent reports show that Afghanistan is once again the top producer of opium, which is used for heroin.


Youth and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination

Alcohol is the number one drug problem among youth. Alcohol is easily available, widely accepted, and extensively promoted within our society, making alcohol the most used and abused drug in America. By the time a young person reaches eighteen years of age, two out of three will be occasional users of alcohol. By age eighteen, one in twenty youths will be daily users. Four out of ten seniors will be considered heavy drinkers, consuming five or more drinks in a row at least once every two weeks. Alcohol-related highway accidents are the principal cause of death among young people ages fifteen to twenty-four. Nearly half of all youth deaths by drowning, fires, suicide, and homicide are alcohol-related. Early alcohol use is associated with subsequent alcohol dependence as well as social and health- related problems. Nearly 1,500 college students die each year in alcohol-related unintentional injuries.

The Drug Culture and Its Effect on Youths

Restoring Broken Lives

Peniel Residential Drug/Alcohol Treatment Center