Published June 29, 2011
A report from Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) revealed that nearly half of all of high school students in the U.S. are using addictive substances, and one in three of them are addicted.
Alcohol is the preferred drug of choice for teenagers, according to the report.
“Teen substance use is our nation’s number one public health problem,” said Jim Ramstad, former member of Congress and a CASA board member who chaired the report’s National Advisory Commission. “Smoking, drinking and using other drugs while the brain is still developing dramatically hikes the risk of addiction and other devastating consequences.”
According to the report:
* 72.5 percent of high school students have drunk alcohol;
* 46.3 percent of high school students have smoked cigarettes;
* 36.8 percent have used marijuana;
* 14.8 percent have misused controlled prescription drugs;
* 65.1 percent have used more than one substance;
The report found that 34.4 million children under the age of 18 live in a household where someone over the age of 18 is a smoker, excessive drinker, misuses prescription drugs or illegal drugs, and thereby giving them bad influences.
The report was funded by grants from Legacy, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Michael Alan Rosen Foundation.