National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) supports the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) during their annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW).
NDAFW brings teens and scientific experts together to discuss the scientific facts about drugs, as well as their potential health effects on teen bodies and brains. Held the last week of January every year since 2010, NDAFW is a national health observance linking teens to science based facts to “Shatter the Myths”® about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, tv, movies, music or from friends.
Here are 5 shocking facts concerning drug & alcohol use in America. Because this year’s focus is on teens, you will see that many of the stats pertain to our youngest and often most vulnerable community members.
- By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana.
- 60% of seniors don’t see regular marijuana use as harmful, but THC (the active ingredient in the drug that causes addiction) is nearly 5 times stronger than it was 20 years ago.
- The United States represents 5% of the world’s population and 75% of prescription drugs taken. 60% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them free from friends and relatives.
- More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined.
- 54% of high school seniors do not think regular steroid use is harmful, the lowest number since 1980, when the National Institute on Drug Abuse started asking about perception on steroids.
The FCCG believes it is important to inform youth and the general public about the dangers of substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. In our research, we have found that there is a strong correlation between youth gambling and problematic behaviors.
Adolescent gambling is also linked to other problems and risk taking behaviors. For example, youth who gamble are:
– Twice as likely to be drunk or high at school than non-gamblers
– Almost 4 times as likely to skip school six or more days during a four-week period.
– More than twice as likely to receive D’s and F’s as their non-gambler counterparts
– More likely to develop a problem than adults
– Nearly 6 times as likely to carry a gun
– More likely to have used drugs during the past 30 days
The findings are certainly alarming… Youth playing cards and shooting dice for money may seem harmless. However, for some, it can be the introduction to a life-long addiction, resulting in many of the same dysfunctions as substance abuse.
Should you or someone you know have an issue with problem gambling be sure to seek help by calling 888-ADMIT-IT.