Top 5 Reasons Teens Use Drugs



There are many reasons why teens abuse illegal or prescription drugs. Past studies used to point to “having fun” as the number-one reason teens used drugs, but more recent studies show that teens are using drugs to solve problems. This is important for parents to understand because most parents severely underestimate the impact of stress on their teens. By understanding what motivates your teen to use drugs, you can hopefully step in help them find better ways to cope with their problems.

Top Reasons Why Teens Abuse Substances

1) Stress: A recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America showed that 73 percent of teens report the number-one reason for using drugs is to deal with the pressures and stress of school. Surprisingly, only 7 percent of parents believe that teens might use drugs to cope with stress, showing parents severely underestimate the impact of stress on their teens’ decision to use drugs.

2) Social Acceptance and/or Low Self-Esteem: A 2007 PATS Teens study reported 65 percent of teens say they use drugs to “feel cool.” Teens’ self-worth depends on the approval of others, and their desire for social acceptance can drive them to engage in destructive behaviors, even if they know it could harm them. The same study found that 65 percent of teens use drugs to “feel better about themselves.” Teens who have low self-esteem are more likely to seek acceptance from the wrong crowd by using drugs.

3) Self-Medication: The teen years are rough, and many teens who are unhappy don’t know how to find a healthy outlet for their frustration. These pent up emotions can take an emotional toll and can even lead to depression or anxiety. A 2009 study reported an estimated 70 percent of teens suffer from undiagnosed clinical depression at some point in their life. Many teens are unaware that they have an underlying mental or mood disorder that is causing them to use illegal or prescription drugs to self-medicate and cope with their symptoms.

4) Misinformation: Studies show that teens are widely misinformed about the dangers of drugs. Did you know that 40 percent of teens don’t perceive any major risk with trying heroin once or twice? While abuse of serious drugs is steadily declining among teens, their intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications remains a serious concern. Many teens, 41 percent to be exact, mistakenly believe that it’s safer to abuse a prescription drug than it is to use illegal drugs. Nearly 1 in 5 teens have already abused a prescription medication or prescription painkiller in order to get high or deal with stress.

5) Easy Access: One reason teens use drugs is simply because they’re easy to get. Nearly 50 percent of teens report that it’s easy for them to get marijuana; 17 percent say it’s easy to get meth; 14.4 percent say it’s easy to get heroin; and more than half of teens say that prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.

Teen Drug Abuse: Prevention and Help

Research consistently shows that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs from their parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs than kids who do not learn about the dangers of drugs at home. Unfortunately, only 32 percent of teens report that they are getting this vital message from their parents.

If you know a teen who is abusing drugs, don’t wait to intervene. The sooner your teen gets help for drug abuse, the more likely they’ll be able to avoid the long-lasting consequences. Fortunately, there are many different teen drug rehabs to choose from. The most effective teen drug rehab, however, may be a residential treatment program. Here your teen will have access to 24/7 supervision and care, detoxification, dual diagnosis treatment and a variety of holistic treatments based on their individual needs. Talk to a medical doctor about your teen’s symptoms and determine which type of drug abuse treatment is best for your teen.

Don’t let your child suffer at the hands of addiction any longer. Call Casa Palmera today and put your teen in the hands of trained, highly skilled professionals who will bring your child back to a healthy, happy life.

Leave a Reply

38 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons Teens Use Drugs”

  1. Nicole ~

    Most don’t want to fit in. Most teens are going through something difficult in their lives. Their teenagers, their growing up. They don’t see another way out other then to get high and get away from reality .


    some see their friends do it and think it cool but its really not Peer Pressure is a major issue in the united states

  3. looaya

    they think they’ re having fun bt they wil be addicted.They wil then find it difficult to STOP!

  4. capable

    Taking drugs make the teenager to feel on top not knowing that it can kill

  5. jaseem

    Peer pressure & self esteem issues contributes to a good extent.

  6. Marissa

    I honestly think kids these days don’t have enough desire to stand out and away from the crowd. They, the ones who use drugs, don’t have enough inner strength to deal with their problems through other ways, such as creativity (poetry, art, etc.).

  7. Lesego

    Being a teenager is tough, so teenager also needs proper attention just like infants so the lack of parent-child relationship contribute more

  8. Patrick

    I’m a teenager and I would say curiosity is the main reason, followed by to have fun. Haha it’s funny how all these reasons are negative as if only a troubled or weak minded person will do drugs-just not true.

  9. moses

    Drug abuse among the youth is majorly caused by peer pressure, stress of school work, pressure from parents, family background, loosing parents at tender age and nobody to take charge of well being, unemployment, idleness, exposure to substances, environment they stay in among others.

  10. Cuan A.

    Teens take drugs because parents and adults say they cant so they just going against us because they teens, if they want to take drugs they will and if they dont want to take drugs they wont it just depends on who you are as a person, i mean how many of you guys have atleast tried it once or twice

  11. hetty

    some teenagers lack parental guidance or support,even the parenting style at home contribute as some teenagers are left to do what ever they want under no supervision

  12. Maddie H.

    Because it makes them feel like they fit in!. they think doing drug makes them cool or popular. but in all reality it doesn’t. People will look at you and think “omg look at her/him shes so stupid and did drugs now look at wheres shes at!” kids are under the influence of trying a drug because they see others doing and get that thought i wanna try it see how it is see how fun it is i want to see why people do it all the time so they try and they fu** their life up. Take it from me your life will change no matter the drug no matter how much you did , the people who gave it to you, family, friends, teachers, parents, society, the world, your schools, your piers, everyone will look at you in discus and disappointment and think “wow she/he was a perfect child” “she had good grades” “she had her whole life planned and was focused on it” “what happend” “what made her do this” “what did i do to make her do this”??? All those good thoughts and comments about you before are long gone!!! and those thoughts arnt coming back any time soon!!!.

  13. Hasita

    Some teenagers aren’t perfect but are asked to be so they take drugs because they might be scared

  14. sally

    I agree that most teenagers just do drugs for the fun of it but the ones that do it for being depressed or stressed out should have another way of fixing their problems. Using drugs wont fix anything it will just make it worse for themselves.

  15. Obwalinga D.

    Thanks for your help you render to us

  16. Casa Palmera Staff

    PATS stands for the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, it is the name of the study done with Drug Free America sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Link to the full report.

  17. vanessa

    as a teenager i too understand, but above all their is a God who gives a real happiness, joy, peace etc than the worldly lust gives

  18. Bob

    Honestly, as a teen, it’s normally just curiosity that makes other teens do drugs.

  19. mandy m

    guys abusing drugs is an unpleasant thing to do.please share your problems with your teachers at school if it is awkward to share with your parents or relatives.god bless you all!!!


    u knw guys I dnt think teens use drugs bkoz they want to, if u open ur spiritual eyes majority of teens who uses drugs go through this stage of drug abuse bkoz they need a touchin testimony to tell nGod’s people how god has healed and delivered them, how far they came from. than there are teens who just want to be very naughty

  21. Linda

    I tried drugs as a teenager. I only did it for the high. I was related to a gang member, and some of the gang members got high on their own stash of drugs. They would offer me drugs. I liked the high I got from it. I was not addicted to drugs, and I only got high occasionally. I got high at least 12 times before I realized that I need to stop so I can have a clear mind. I’m 39 yrs old now. I do not drink, smoke or do drugs. On the other hand, there are kids who become addicted to drugs and lose their life to an overdose. I would not suggest a kid try drugs period. Even if they say they won’t get addicted they possibly could get addicted to the drugs the more they use it. They say the more drugs you take the more you develop a tolerance for it, and it ends up becoming a habit where you have to have it to go throughout your day.

  22. Aryam

    I started to use drugs like methamphetamine and Ecstasy when I was 14 and I am going to be honest here I was using out of curiosity and a thrill of knowing I was doing something that was considered wrong to society and the government. Kids this day and age are not blocked off from the ugly side of the world. They are less likely to think of the consequences or care if they get caught. I have a few friends who are still using and are under 18. They have told me time and time again that using drugs is fun and exciting so why not just use until you are legally able adult then be more careful. Yea that is the truth. They are taking advantage of the system. As I have. Unknowingly destroying my life and my family.. My body and outside look just fine, I’m told that I don’t look like I’ve used. But inside my body and soul are screaming for help. Kids, don’t do it! I am not going to sit here and tell you how to live but all I can say is I assure you, its not worth it and it will never be enough. You will always want more. ..

  23. paulnaks

    youths/teens should follow their mentors who pursue their lives/careers positively to enable them aspire for their drms they inspired for…

  24. Ms. K

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