What are the consequences of teen substance use?

The use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to a variety of negative consequences, especially for youth. Substance use can lead to:

  • Physical and mental health problems: injuries, disease, depression, memory problems
  • Academic problems: absenteeism, poor grades
  • Poor peer and family relationships: social alienation
  • Legal issues: arrests
  • Violence
  • Economic problems: cost of medical and treatment services and societal costs
  • Long-term drug dependence and abuse
    • The younger someone is when they start using drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted. Alcohol and other drugs can hinder healthy adolescent brain development.
  • Death: accidents, disease, homicide, suicide


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1. What are the consequences of teen substance use?
2. Why do some teens choose to drink and use other drugs?
3. What can I do to reduce teen use of alcohol and other drugs?
4. I'm worried about someone's alcohol or other drug use. Where can I find help?
5. How did SCCUDD start?
6. What does SCCUDD do?
7. How can I get involved?