According to national studies, many adolescents experiment with or use alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Experimentation during adolescence is not uncommon, but substance use can quickly become dangerous and lead to serious problems. Effective treatment can help them stop using, avoid relapse and recover their lives with more stability with their families, friends, schools, activities and jobs.

At UofL Health – Peace Hospital, adolescents report marijuana as their “drug of choice,” followed by alcohol and prescription painkillers. They report that the main reason for substance use is because of feeling “stressed, nervous, tense, full of worries or problems,” and many report they live with family members who use substances and/or have substance use problems as well.

  • Underage drinking is a major cause of death among adolescents due to injuries. It can affect their body in many ways, from hangovers to death from alcohol poisoning. It also affects how well they judge risk and make decisions, and adolescents often end up doing dangerous things they would not normally do.
  • Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that changes the way the brain works. Short-term effects include euphoria, distorted perceptions and short-term memory problems. Long-term effects include lack of motivation, isolation and psychological dependence.
  • Prescription pain medications, anti-anxiety medications and abuse of over-the-counter medications can quickly become addictive and lead to death. More than half of adolescents report that prescription drugs are now easier to get than illegal drugs.
  • Adolescents are more likely to use e-cigarettes than cigarettes.

Know the Signs of Underage Drinking and Drug Use

  • Mood Changes
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Changes in health
  • Personality changes
  • Increased secrecy and lying to family/friends
  • Personal time that is unaccounted for
  • Changes in patterns with friends

Adolescents Can and Do Lead Drug-Free Lives

Peace Hospital offers treatment for adolescents struggling with substance use. We involve family members in family therapy and substance use education because we know that this improves the well-being of the whole family.

We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of substance abuse, please contact Peace Hospital for a no-charge assessment and assistance with treatment options.

Call 502-451-3333 or 800-451-3637.

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