Adolescents are more likely to develop substance use disorders
The NIDA reports adolescents (aged 12-17) were more likely to develop SUDs within a year of using drugs for the first time when using substances such as opioids, tranquilizers, stimulants, and cannabis than young adults (aged 18-25).
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 are at a higher risk for developing substance use disorders (SUDs).
The NIDA reports those in the specified age range were more likely to develop SUDs within a year of using drugs for the first time when using substances such as opioids, tranquilizers, stimulants, and cannabis than young adults — ages 18-25. Their study found that 11 percent of adolescents and 6 percent of young adults developed a cannabis addiction. In addition, 11 percent of adolescents began an addition to prescription opioids compared to 7 percent of young adults.
“It was first thought that because of the pandemic and our kids would be at home that that would really limit access to substances and in the monitoring the future survey we found that’s not true. If anything our adolescents were seeking more during this time period,” Rosecrance Adolescent Residential Services Administrator Denita Lynde said.
Lynde said one reason why teens are more at risk than other age groups is because as a young person enters their teen years their brain changes quickly, and substances like drugs or alcohol can drastically affect their mental health. Findings from their study reveals that one way to potentially reduce the number of substances used among adolescents would be to limit the supply. Another way to reduce this problem starts at home.
“Parents should watch out for changes in their behaviors, whether they are having mood swings, altered sleeping and eating patterns, social isolation and withdrawal. obviously substance paraphernalia in their home or if there’s any missing possessions or lack of money,” Lynde said.
Luckily, there are several resources locally, such as the Mental Health Co-Responder Program, to help teens with their struggles.
“This gives us our opportunity with law enforcement and with Rosecrance to get involved. see what the problems are drill down on the problems and start right away counseling where we can pull whomever it is out of the situation that they are in,” Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.
Findings for the study came from the NIDA’s ‘Monitoring the Future’ survey, which monitors substance use trends through thousands of middle and high school students from more than 100 schools nationwide.
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