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Substance abuse - defined as the misuse of both legal and illegal drugs - is a growing problem among many young people. Today, nearly one million eighth graders admit getting drunk and another 1.2 million twelfth graders are considered binge drinkers. Heroin use by young adults has doubled from 1991 to 1996 and teenage compulsive gambling is on the rise.
Alcohol alone kills 10,000 young adults each year. Drug and alcohol abuse can also lead to other risky behaviors, such as drunk driving, unprotected sex, date rape, suicide and violence. The key to prevention lies with the family. The most important step a parent can take is to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol. Statistics show that teenagers are a lot less likely to abuse substances if their parents discussed it with them first.
Here are some signs of teenage substance abuse:
What you can do to help
If your child or loved one shows signs of substance abuse, don't wait for the problem to go away by itself. Get help now.
When you need to talk to someone, turn to Belmont Behavioral Health at 1-800-220-HELP (4357) or (215) 877-2000.
Treatment Services - Adolescents' Programs
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