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Importance of prevention

A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows a strong link between early drug and alcohol use and substance abuse problems in later life.   “Early to late adolescence is considered a critical risk period for the beginning of alcohol and drug use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.   Because the teenage brain is still growing, it is particularly vulnerable to damage that can affect key skills like learning, memory, planning, impulse control, critical thinking and the regulation of emotion.

The Report found that 74 percent of adults participating in a substance abuse treatment program had initiated alcohol or drug use before the age of 17. Those who began at 11 years old or younger, were more likely to have multiple substance dependencies compared to those who waited until they were 25 years and older.

This report highlights the importance of prevention work, not only in schools, but in the home and elsewhere.

Click here to see  more about this report.





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