Peer-influenced content. Sources you trust. No registration required. This is HCN.

Pharmacy Learning NetworkExploring Drug Use Among Adolescents: Contributing Factors and Proposed Prevention Strategies

Understanding the Nexus: Adolescent Drug Use and Its Implications on Long-term Health Outcomes

This article explores the patterns and contributing factors of substance use among adolescents, highlighting the significant link between early drug exposure and the subsequent development of substance use disorders (SUDs) and other health complications. Drawing on recent studies and data, it presents a comprehensive overview of the current landscape of adolescent drug use, its motivations, and the evolving role of healthcare professionals in addressing this critical issue.

Key Points:

  • The CDC reports that substance use often starts in adolescence, increasing the risk of sustained SUDs and drug overdoses into adulthood.
  • Adolescents abuse a range of substances, including OTC medications and herbal supplements, with notable prevalence among 13 to 16-year-olds.
  • Recent data show a concerning rise in adolescent overdose deaths, with a 94.03% increase from 2019 to 2020 and a 20.05% increase from 2020 to 2021.
  • The Monitoring the Future survey indicates a stabilization or decline in drug use among adolescents post-pandemic, yet overdose deaths continue to rise.
  • A cross-sectional CDC study identified key factors for adolescent substance use, including stress relief, depression, anxiety, experimentation, and social influences.
  • The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy emphasizes the critical role of pharmacists in SUD treatment and prevention among adolescents.
  • The ASHP survey suggests leveraging pharmacists’ expertise in drug therapy management to enhance SUD treatment strategies.

“We’ve been watching closely to see if the big declines in teen substance use after the pandemic would persist, or if substance use levels would bounce back when students returned to school. We’re glad to see that the declines have persisted.”
– Richard Miech, Monitoring the Future study lead

More on Addiction/Substance Abuse

The Healthcare Communications Network is owned and operated by IQVIA Inc.

Click below to leave this site and continue to IQVIA’s Privacy Choices form