Drug and Alcohol Abuse Info for Teens & Students

teenage drug and alcohol abuseAs a young adult, you are constantly getting messages about drugs in popular culture, like in songs on the radio, in movies, and on TV. In fact, the National Institutes of Health performed a study of the most popular songs in 2005 that demonstrated that 1 in 3 songs said something about drugs, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. When you look at rap music alone 75% of songs mentioned substance abuse. A similar trend can be seen in movies, as 70% of the top 90 movies over the last 20 years showed characters smoking and 1 in 3 showed people getting drunk.

The constant messages and peer pressure from classmates can combine to make it very difficult to completely avoid drugs and alcohol as a teen. Since you are likely to come in contact with these substances at one time or another, we want to educate you on some major myths about drugs and alcohol and also give you some information packets that you can download for yourselves or for student organizations at your school.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Myths

Myth #1 – Marijuana is not addictive.

This is not true as 1 in 11 people that use marijuana become addicted.


Myth #2 – Prescription medications are safe to use because they are legal and doctors prescribe them.

Prescription drug abuse is drug abuse. They are unsafe to use if you are not taking them under the supervision of a doctor for a current problem. Prescription medications are highly addictive and abuse of them can lead to health problems like panic attacks, seizures, and heart attacks. Many prescription medications have been shown to be as dangerous as heroin by themselves, and when you mix them with alcohol the dangers only increase. Mixing medications with alcohol can lead to death from accidental overdose, which you’ve seen happen to countless celebrities in the last decade.


Myth #3 – Alcohol abuse and binge drinking isn’t dangerous.

Not true! 5,000 people under the age of 21 die every year from injuries caused by underage drinking. Almost 40% of these fatalities are from car crashes. This is totally preventable.


Drug & Alcohol Abuse Fact Sheet Downloads:

Drugs & Alcohol: Shatter the Myths

Marijuana: Facts for Teens


To learn more about drugs and alcohol, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website for teens.