Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
There is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and drugs than our young people. For some, a one time or infrequent use of alcohol or drugs can result in tragedy: alcohol poisoning, an accident or fall when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or an arrest associated with alcohol or drugs. Young people who use alcohol and drugs before their brain has fully developed, are at increased risk for future addiction. Those who start drinking alcohol before the age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than those who first use alcohol at age 18 or older.
Substance abuse in young people can lead to serious problems such as poor schoolwork, loss of friends, problems at home and even lasting legal problems. Alcohol and drug abuse is a leading cause of teen death or injury. Even casual use of certain drugs can cause severe health problems, such as an overdose or brain damage.