When and how does drug abuse start and progress?

Bright Stars

Studies such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13, which likely means that some begin even earlier. Early abuse often includes such substances as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicines. If drug abuse persists into later adolescence, abusers typically become more heavily involved with marijuana and then advance to other drugs, while continuing their abuse of tobacco and alcohol. Studies have also shown that abuse of drugs in late childhood and early adolescence is associated with greater drug involvement. It is important to note that most youth, however, do not progress to abusing other drugs.
Scientists have proposed various explanations of why some individuals become involved with drugs and then escalate to abuse. One explanation points to a biological cause, such as having a family history of drug or alcohol abuse. Another explanation is that abusing drugs can lead to affiliation with drug-abusing peers, which, in turn, exposes the individual to other drugs.Researchers have found that youth who rapidly increase their substance abuse have high levels of risk factors with low levels of protective factors.


Carolee said…
Wow, 12 & 13 yrs old? That's scary!
This what research says but our observation and experience indicates that now children start using drugs at age 10. it might be verified by up coming surveys. so parents need to know how to help a child stay away from drugs. there is a post on helping your child stay away from drugs. you can read it if you want to. or parents can post comments for further information. thank you for your comment.

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