Alcohol and Drug Facts

Whether you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse and addiction, it’s important to be informed about specific drug facts, signs and symptoms of abuse, and your treatment options. We’ve put together a collection of resources to help you learn about these drugs. 


In 2017, 15.5 percent of high school students in the United States reported that they drank alcohol for the first time before the age of 13. Approximately 60 percent of students said they had at least one drink of alcohol in their lifetime, compared to 63 percent in 2015 and 79 percent two decades ago. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2017)
Alcohol Fact Sheet


Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. 45% of 12th graders in the U.S. have tried marijuana. In 2017, 29% of 12th graders in the U.S. viewed regular use of marijuana as harmful, compared to 58% 20 years ago. 40% of 12th graders who report marijuana use in states with legal medical marijuana have consumed it in edible form, compared to 26% in non-medical marijuana states. Marijuana sends more 12-24 year olds to the ER than any other illicit drug. Common reasons include anxiety, confusion, panic attacks and hallucinations. Primary marijuana use disorders account for 77% of admissions to treatment centers for ages 12-17.
Marijuana fact sheet
Know the Risks of Marijuana - SAMSHA
Vaping Marijuana


It looks like a sleek USB pod. It tastes like bubblegum, fruity cereal, marshmallows, slushies, or gummy worms. It’s no wonder so many teens and kids are attracted to the idea of “vaping.” E-cigarettes and vape pens use heated nicotine liquid to produce a vapor for inhalation, or vaping. That liquid, often called “juice,” comes in sweet, fruity flavors that make the products particularly appealing to the 37% of high school seniors who say they’ve vaped. But make no mistake—these products are both addictive and harmful for anyone, especially for kids and teens.
Vaping facts
E-cigarettes A Growing Concern
Quick facts about JUUL


The synthetic cathinone products marketed as “bath salts” to evade detection by authorities should not be confused with products such as Epsom salts that are sold to improve the experience of bathing. The latter have no psychoactive (drug-like) properties. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Bath Salts fact sheet


Many of these “club drugs” are used recreationally, by choice, at all-night dance parties (raves), bars and concerts. Studies by the National Institutes of Health suggest that risk of death associated with drugs such as ecstasy increases in hot conditions because the drug interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
Club Drugs fact sheet


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, cocaine was used primarily as medicine. The drug was officially banned in 1922. More than 50 years later, a new variation of the substance emerged. This substance, crack became enormously popular in the mid-1980s due in part to its almost immediate high and that fact that it is inexpensive to produce and buy.
Cocaine & Crack fact sheet


About one in 25 teens report using cough medicine to get high. Often, these teens are finding information about cough medicine abuse on the Internet.
DXM: Cough Medicine fact sheet


In 2014, nearly 1.3 million Americans aged 12 and older reported using LSD in the past year and 90,000 reported using PCP in the past year. The average age at first use for past year initiates was about 18 for PCP and 20 for LSD.
Hallucinogens fact sheet


According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 914,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year. The number of people who used heroin for the first time in 2014 was 212,000 compared to 169,000 in 20013. Heroin use has been increasing among young adults aged 18– 25, but has remained steady among teens aged 12–17. In 2015, 2.1 percent of high school students in the United States reported trying heroin at least once in their lifetime.
Heroin fact sheet


Inhalants are the fourth most abused substance after alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Over 2.6 million kids, aged 12 to 17, have used an inhalant to get high. Inhalant abuse usually begins around age 10. In 2015, 7 percent of high school students in the United States reported using inhalants at some point during their lifetime.
Inhalants fact sheet


5.2 percent of high school seniors have used synthetic marijuana in the past year. Easy access and the misunderstanding that Spice is "natural" have likely contributed to its use. Popularity of these products has greatly declined over the last four years.
K2 Herb fact sheet


Although the availability of meth has been increasing in the U.S., there has been a downward trend in the prevalence of use among teenagers. In 2015 3 percent of high school students reported ever using meth in their lifetime, compared to 6.2 percent in 2005.
Meth fact sheet


More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana. In 2015, 16.8 percent of high school students in the United States report taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription during their lifetime, compared to 17.8 percent in 2013.
Prescription Drug fact sheet


In the United States, tobacco use claims 480,000 lives and costs the state $170 billion in health care bills a year. Approximately 540 million packs of cigarettes will be smoked by kids under the age of 18 in the United States this year. Cigarette use by teens has been declining over the last 20 years. In 2015, 32 percent of high school students in the United States reported they had tried smoking cigarettes, compared to 71 percent in 1995. Frequent cigarette use among students dropped from 16 percent to 3 percent over the same period of time.
Tobacco fact sheet

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