Study: teen drug use climbing

A national study by the Partnership at and the Met Life Foundation shows drug use among teens is climbing.

Among the findings...there was a 67% increase in the last three years in the number of teens who admitted using the drug "Ecstasy" and a 22% increase in the number of teens using Marijuana. Additionally, the majority of teens surveyed admit to trying alcohol for the first time by the time they turn 15.

Other data revealed by the survey include:

  • Of those teens who reported alcohol use, one in four (25 percent), said they drank a full alcoholic drink for the first time by age 12 or younger.
  • Among teens who reported drinking alcohol, the average age of first alcohol use was 14.
  • Of those teens who reported alcohol use, a majority (62 percent) said they had their first full alcoholic drink by age 15, not including sipping or tasting alcohol.
  • Almost half of teens (45 percent) reported they do not see a great risk in heavy daily drinking.
  • Only 31 percent of teens strongly disapprove of teens and peers their age getting drunk.
  • A majority of teens, seven out of 10 (73 percent), report having friends who drink alcohol at least once a week.
  • One in three (32 percent) teens said they drank to forget their troubles.

These findings should serve as a call to action for parents, said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. We encourage parents and caregivers to pay attention to the warning signs of teen drinking and other drug use, in order to intervene early and effectively. If you suspect a problem, do not wait to get help for a child who is struggling with substance abuse or addiction.

A detailed report on the survey's findings can be found here.

If you are a parent looking for help with your teen's substance abuse, the organization has assembled a page designed to help you get started.