The study conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-free America shows that of 6,511 teens, 73% report that school stress and pressure is the main reason for drug use.
Ironically, only 7% of parents believe that teens use drugs to cope with stress.
Second on the list was to “feel cool” (73%), which was previously ranked in the first position. Another popular reason teens said they use drugs was to “feel better about themselves”(65%).
Over the past decade, studies have indicated a steady changing trend in what teens perceive as the motivations for using drugs. The “to have fun” rationales are declining, while motivations to use drugs to solve problems are increasing.
On the positive side, the study confirms that overall abuse remains in a steady decline among teens. Marijuana, ecstasy, inhalants, methamphetamine alcohol and cigarette usage continue to decrease.
Additional findings show:
– 1 in 5 teens has abused a prescription medication
– Nearly 1 in 5 teens has already abused a prescription painkiller
– 41% of teens think it’s safer to abuse a precription drug than it is to use illegal drugs.
Teens continue to take their lives into their own hands when they intentionally abuse prescribed medications, said Pasierb. “Whether it’s to get high or deal with stress, or if they mistakenly believe it will help them perform better in school or sports, teens don’t realize that when used without a prescription, these medicines can be every bit as harmful as illegal street drugs.”