Informed Families Catalyst

Youth Drug Abuse Facts You Should Know in 2015

Posted by Informed Families on July 7, 2015 at 12:28 AM

"Adolescence is a crucial period both of susceptibility to the rewards of drugs and of vulnerability to the long-term effects of drug exposure...Adolescents are prone to risky behaviors and impulsive actions that provide instant gratification instead of eventual rewards." - Dr. Nora Volkow
Adolescents are at risk of falling victim to the horrible atrocities that drug use can cause. It's important for adults (especially parents) to be educated about this topic in order to help prevent the tragedies associated with drug abuse and addiction. Whether it is your own child, a neighbor, a student, a friend of your child's, or anyone, it's important to know some facts and details about drug abuse.


Cost of Abuse

"Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is costly to our Nation, exacting more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care" according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Drug Intelligence Center.


Just as a reference, $700 billion could send almost 3,946 students to the University of Miami OR 6,121 students to the University of Florida to receive a 4-year degree

New Experimental Drugs

Watch out for these drugs and follow the links to get more information on each:

  1. FlakkaNew synthetic foul-smelling crystal. This drug can cause "excited delirium" according to NIDA and is very dangerous.
  2. Spice / K2 ("Synthetic Marijuana): These are herbal mixtures marketed as "safe" legal alternatives to marijuana. Spice can have negative effects on the brain and in some cases has caused heart attacks.
  3. Fentanyl: This drug is often laced with heroin and sometimes can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times more powerful than heroin.

Monitoring the Future: Teen Drug Use 


Key takeaways from this animated infographic: While alcohol and tobacco use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders seems to have declined over the past two decades, illicit drug use has been steady and is starting an upward trend. After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. 

Facing the Reality None of Us Ever Want to Imagine

Recently a Missouri mother, Kelly Smith-Miller had her 18-year-old son admitted to the hospital to fight for his life after he overdosed on a lethal combination of heroin and Xanax. He suffered traumatic brain damage and a stroke. Bravely, his mother took to Facebook to beg and plead every mother and father not to let this happen to their child. She has taken this tragic situation and is working to educate parents and children in order to prevent anyone from having to experience anything like this.


Conclusion / Contact

The #1 best way to prevent drug abuse is to abstain from experimenting and using drugs. Educate your children so they know the harmful effects of abuse and addiction.

It's never too late to get someone help, if you or someone you know needs help overcoming substance abuse. Please contact the following resources:


Join Our Ambassador Program  


Looking for volunteer opportunities to get involved and help kids grow up Safe, Healthy & Drug Free? Volunteer now to show our youth fun, exciting alternatives to using and abusing drugs:

Topics: addiction, drug trends, parent involvement, positive parenting, prescription drug abuse, synthetic drugs, flakka

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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