Use of illicit and prescription drugs among teens is on the rise in Utah. Recent reports show that 7.2 percent of teens in Utah have used an illicit drug in the past month, with 4.2 percent of these teens having used marijuana.
A certain percentage of teens have also used prescription medications for non-prescription uses. The use of alcohol is also not uncommon in the adolescent population.
It is reported that 7.5 percent have engaged in binge drinking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in one occasion, a practice that has led to numerous teenage deaths across the country.
Statistics provided by the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) reveal that there is a total of 12,977 clients going through rehabilitation in Utah rehab treatment centers, with a majority of these patients getting treatment on an outpatient basis. Of the total number of patients, 12.2 percent were under the age of 18.
Another set of numbers provided by the Treatment Episode Data Set revealed that males comprised the 68.5 percent of the 6,030 of teenagers being treated for substance abuse, with 7.4 percent of these admissions due to alcohol abuse. When it comes to female patients, 29.9 percent are being treated for drug use and 10.8 percent for alcohol abuse.
Among teen admissions, alcohol and marijuana are the two most commonly abused substances. In a 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control, numbers on teenagers needing drug related rehabilitation but not receiving any from 2009 to 2010 was around 4%, which is the same as the national average, both for alcohol and drug abuse.
Measures to Curb Drug Abuse among Teens
Utah has a number of rehabilitation facilities for both adults and teens. Most centers offer inpatient and outpatient programs, although treatment modalities used may differ based on the specific facility.
There are facilities that offer holistic services, while there are others that focus on one modality, such as Bible-based treatments alone, to help the patient recover from the abuse. Most centers use a mix of psychological therapies and medications to facilitate recovery.
The Utah County Health Department is the division responsible for the prevention and treatment of adolescent drug addiction in the community. It has ties with the legal department such as Drug Court programs, which are implemented as part of the rehab process.
Prevention services are also in place across various school districts in the county, such as Provo, Nebo, and Alpine districts, as well as in the Utah Valley University. More information on substance abuse detection as well as resources for treatment is provided by community resource libraries.
Parents and teachers are among the first people to see signs of alcohol and drug abuse in teens. Most teens exhibit major behavioral changes as they undergo adolescence, but there are telltale signs that can only be the result of substance abuse. It is therefore important to look out for these signs in order to take the next steps in rehabilitation.