Teenagers are using drugs at an alarming rate. The four years in high school are a critical time in a teen’s development. To ensure your child’s future potential and success in life, it’s important to help your teen stay away from drugs and alcohol. But is it really that important? Any parents who think their children will never use drugs should look into teen drug abuse statistics of just how many high schoolers are on marijuana, cocaine, and more.


Marijuana is by far the most prevalent drug used by high schoolers. While drug use in other areas has gone down, marijuana use has actually increased among teens over the last few years. Here are some of the most important statistics to stay current on.

  • 6% of 10th graders smoked pot within the last month
  • 3% of 12th graders smoked pot within the last month
  • 1% of 12th graders smoked pot within the last year
  • 81% of 12th graders said it would be easy for them to obtain marijuana
  • 6% of 12th graders use marijuana every day
  • 32% of 12th graders believe regularly using marijuana is harmful

When it comes to drugs, marijuana has been labeled as relatively harmless. However, people who smoke marijuana regularly are 65% more likely to end up in a car crash. Additionally, regular marijuana use can decrease a teen’s IQ by up to eight points. Marijuana can be a serious problem for developing minds. Teen drug abuse in high school can lead to serious problems for the child’s future.


Underage drinking is one of the most serious public health threats there is. Many teenagers do not yet know their limits, so they are more likely to drink excessively than adults. Excessive drinking causes over 4,300 teenage deaths each year in the United States, and it costs billions of dollars’ worth of damages. Other important statistics to be aware of include:

  • 5% of 10th graders consumed alcohol within the last month
  • 4% of 12th graders consumed alcohol within the last month
  • 68% of 12th graders have tried alcohol at some point in their lives
  • 10% of teens drove after drinking alcohol within the last month
  • 22% were passengers in someone’s car who had been drinking within the last month
  • 21% of teens binge drank within the last month

In addition to thousands of deaths, drinking and driving results in nearly 200,000 visits to the emergency room each year. It is extremely dangerous for anyone to drink and drive, let alone someone who does not have much experience behind the wheel.

Other Drugs

The National Institute of Drug Abuse has found that nearly 25% of high schoolers in the country have used at least one type of drug. Some other common culprits include Adderall, opioids painkillers, cough medicine, Vicodin, OxyContin, LSD, Ritalin, and inhalants. Some estimates suggest that nearly 2.5% of high school seniors use cocaine regularly. While that seems like a small number, it amounts to over one million teenagers using a drug that could easily kill them. High schoolers have classmates who sell drugs, and they can also find them easier than ever before with the internet.

Getting addicted to drugs in high school can result in serious repercussions throughout life. Teenagers addicted to drugs can develop brain abnormalities and have slowed thinking responses. High schoolers can develop memory problems if they start consuming alcohol before they are 15. They are also six times more likely to have alcoholism when they are adults than their peers.

Treat Addiction Promptly

If your teenager needs help with drug addiction, then see if the professionals at the Anthony Louis Center can help. These teen drug abuse facts are very real. Do not delay getting your child the help he or she needs, and contact us as soon as you can.