On an average day during the past year, 881,684 teenagers ages 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, while 646,707 smoked marijuana and 457,672 drank alcohol, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The data sheds new light on how deeply substance use pervades the lives of many young people and their families, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. While other studies indicate that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of some forms of substance use among adolescents in the past decade, this report shows that far too many young people are still at risk.
The report draws on a variety of SAMHSA data sets and also sheds light on how many adolescents ages 12 to 17 use illegal substances for the first time each day.
On an average day during 2010-11, 7,639 drank alcohol for the first time; 4,594 used an illicit drug for the first time; 4,000 used marijuana for the first time; 3,701 smoked cigarettes for the first time; and 2,151 misused prescription pain relievers for the first time.
Using data from SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set, the report also analyzes how many adolescents ages 12 to 17 were receiving treatment for a substance abuse problem during an average day in 2010. These numbers included more than 71,000 in outpatient treatment, 9,302 in non-hospital residential treatment and 1,258 in hospital inpatient treatment.
In terms of ED visits involving adolescents ages 12 to 17 in 2011, on an average day marijuana was involved in 165 visits, alcohol in 187 visits and misuse of prescription or nonprescription pain relievers in 74 visits.