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Substance Use

For Students in Grades 7-12

Did you know...
According to Penn State Wellness, half of all new drug users are under the age of eighteen. Teens cite using for reasons such as peer pressure, social influence, escape or self-medication, academic or performance pressure, media influence, traumatic events, or other underlying mental health issues.  

No one starts substance use intending to become addicted, but all alcohol and drug use alters the user’s brain and body chemistry leading to increased use and potential addiction.

Many celebrities such as Robert Downey, Jr., Daniel Radcliffe, Keith Urban and Matthew Perry have openly talked about their abuse and their road to recovery. 

Although not glamorous, their stories are compelling. Research them sometime to learn more about how to help yourself or a friend who may be struggling.


Make friends who respect your decision to be drug free.

Go to events that do not involve drinking, smoking, or using drugs. They do exist!

Recognize that alcohol is a drug, and early use leads to increased likelihood of addiction.

Do not put yourself in unsafe or difficult situations.

Make your parent the bad guys by using them as your reason not to use.

Have an escape plan if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Street drugs can be fatal in only one use. Your life is too important to risk.


Informational Videos

Teen Health: Substance Use and Abuse (2018) 2:52 
Watch Video

Addiction Whirlpools of Risk Episode Two (2018) 2:32 
Watch Video

Addiction Don’t Wait for “Rock Bottom” Episode Four  (2018) 3:02 
Watch Video

Drugs:  Shatter the Myths (2018) 3:45  
Watch Video

Helplines & Resources

Mental Health and Recovery Board

Society for Adolescent Health and Science

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
Site contains numerous guides including drug facts, family conversation tips, prevention strategies, current data on vaping and other drugs, etc.

Alateen: 1-800-352-9996 
Fellowship of mostly teens whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking