Substance Abuse in Middle School

Use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol in 8th graders
    •    20% have used alcohol in the past month
    •    9% have used a narcotic in the past month
    •    60% say it is very easily available

Exposure to parental Substance Use Disorders [SUD] before age 14 confers a risk for juvenile SUD

Onset of use before age 15 confers a risk for SUD even 30 years later

The Juvenile Brain and Drugs/Alcohol Use

Onset of SUD in 80% cases is before age 18
The adolescent brain is still developing until age 21
Drugs and alcohol are toxins, and halt development of the Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum

The Power of peers in Juvenile SUD

  • Delinquent peer group
  • Friends using drugs
  • Peer pressure
  • Drug availability
  • Disregard for values
  • Conventionality of drug use