More than a third of American teenagers are turning to alcohol or drugs, with 32 percent saying they drink, 19 percent saying they use drugs and 15 percent saying they do both, a new study shows.
"Adolescents continue to use drugs and alcohol in very high numbers at very young ages," said Bruce Goldman, director of substance abuse services at Zucker Hillside Hospital of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "The substances they tend to abuse are marijuana, alcohol and, more recently, prescription narcotics as well."
"These findings call for efforts to identify and expand prevention measures that are culturally effective and address the quality and acceptability of treatment for adolescents with substance use problems," said lead study author Li-Tzy Wu, a professor in the department of psychiatry of behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.
The report was published in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. For the study, Wu's team collected data on more then 72,000 teens aged 12 to 17 who took part in the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.