1.  The average age of first experiment with drugs is age 13, and for alcohol, even younger.

2.  Alcohol is the most widely drug used in America.

3.  Alcohol and Tobacco account for 100,000 deaths per year.

4.  Alcohol and other Drugs contribute to over 50% of all suicides and over 50% of all violent crimes.

5.  Over 50% of all traffic accidents involve the use of drugs and alcohol, with many of these being fatal.

6.  Individuals between 16 and 24 are involved in more than 1/3 of all alcohol related traffic accidents.

-Florida Institute of Technology



Long Term Effects of Alcohol Use

  • Damage to organs including the brain, liver, heart and stomach
  • Breakdown of bones and muscle tissue
  • Inability to get along with others
  • Difficulty coping with school or employment demands


Facts about Alcohol and Drugs

  • Fact: Alcohol and Drugs are the leading cause of crime amongst youth
  • Fact: Alcohol and Drugs are the leading factors of teenage pregnancy
  • Fact: More than 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and other drugs
  • Fact: Marijuana and Grades: 19.3% of students age 12-17 who receive average grades of “D” or lower use marijuana in the past month and 6.9% of students with grades of “C” or above used marijuana in the past month.

– NCADD (National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc.)


Long Term effects of Marijuana

  • Can be addictive
  • Affects the brain’s reward system in the same way as all other drugs of addiction
  • Can cause respiratory problems as tobacco does
  • Greater risk of chest infection


Long-Term effects of Tobacco and Nicotine

  • Lung cancer
  • Respiratory disease
  • Infant deaths related to mothers smoking during pregnancy

-Above the Influence



Can you get addicted even though you only do it once in a while?



YES. For most, addiction to alcohol and drugs is a process – not an event. Most people who use alcohol and drugs do so with an intent of only using once or “once in a while.” No one decides that they want to become addicted to alcohol and drugs. But, we are dealing with addictive drugs that directly affect the brain. It is easy for occasional use to change to frequent use or constant use –  that is addiction. The only thing we know for sure: if you don’t drink alcohol and don’t do drugs, you definitely won’t become addicted.



What can you do to prevent prescription drug use?

  1. Take the Pledge.
  2. Safeguard your medicine. (count and monitor the amount of pills you have and lock them up)
  3. Dispose properly of your unused medicine. (drug take back)
  4. Educate yourself. (look for resources)
  5. Share what you know (share information with friends and family)
  6. If you are a parent (talk to you children)
  7. Get Help (call Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE)

Source: http://medicineabuseproject.org/what-you-can-do




Researchers, Dr. J. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F Catalano have identified 16 risk factors for youthful alcohol and other drug abuse.

The presence of a risk factor increases the chance that an adolescent will become involved with alcohol and other drugs. The more risk factors present, the greater the risk. Listed below are the key factors that increase the risk of drug abuse. They apply to four main areas in young people’s lives: the family, the school, the peer group and the community.

  1. Family History of Addiction
  2. Family Management Problems
  3. Parental Drug Use and Positive Attitudes Toward Use
  4. Early Conduct Problems
  5. Academic Failure (beginning in mid to late elementary school)
  6. Little Commitment to School
  7. Antisocial Behavior in Early Adolescence
  8. Friends who Use Drugs
  9. Alienation, Rebelliousness, Lack of Social Bonding
  10. Favorable Attitudes Toward Drug Use
  11. Early Drug Use
  12. Community Laws and Norms Favorable Toward Drug Use
  13. Availability of Drugs
  14. Extreme Economic Deprivation
  15. Low Neighborhood Attachment and Community Disorganization
  16. Transitions and Mobility


Source: http://www.togethercd.org/riskfocusedprevention.htm



  1. Peer Pressure
  2. To look and feel “grown-up”
  3. Modeling parents’ behavior
  4. Curiosity
  5. Boredom
  6. Self-Medication
  7. Rebellion
  8. Ignorance
  9. To have fun
  10. They’ve become addicted