It’s a parent’s nightmare—and for many, it comes true. In the most recent nationally representative survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, half of the nearly 15,000 high school seniors surveyed at 129 schools admitted to using illicit drugs during their lifetime. Forty percent got high in the past year, and one in four in the previous month.
The survey offers detailed, and sometimes surprising, revelations about which drugs teens favor. Some may come not from dealers, but from the drugstore or even your own medicine cabinet. Below are the substances of choice for high school seniors. Learning about them can help you spot signs of abuse in your own teen.
One in 15 seniors smokes pot on a daily or near-daily basis—the highest rate in the past 30 years. Experts say this increase may be because teens no longer see the drug as dangerous. What they fail to realize is that marijuana affects their learning and memory. It also increases their risk for smoking-related health problems, including emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.