All parents of teens and even of younger children should know the facts about teen drinking and drug use. You may assume that your child would never drink or use drugs, but making that assumption is dangerous. Learn more about the topic through articles about teen drug abuse and teen drinking and share the information with your child. Starting this conversation early and having it often will help you protect your teen. Teens and Drinking The No. 1 substance of abuse for teens should not be surprising to most parents: alcohol. Access to alcohol is easy for most young people. Unlike illegal drugs, most homes contain alcohol. According to stats about teen substance abuse, 71% of teens drink by their senior year of high school. Younger teens are drinking, too, with nearly a third of eighth-graders trying alcohol at least once. Underage drinking is dangerous. Teens have brains that are still developing, and drinking heavily or regularly can do lasting damage. More immediately, drinking leads to accidents, sometimes fatal ones. Binge drinking is common among teens and causes most alcohol-related accidents. About 8% of high school students have admitted to driving after having several drinks, while a quarter admit they have been passengers with drunk drivers. Teens and Drugs Alcohol may be the most common substance abused by teens, but other drugs are not far behind. High school drug use statistics tell us that marijuana is the most popular illicit substance. About 15% of eighth-graders have used marijuana, while nearly half of high school seniors have. Synthetic marijuana is popular, too, with more than 10% of teens trying these products. Next in line in terms of popularity are prescription drugs like stimulants used to treat ADHD and narcotic painkillers. About 8% of high school students have abused prescription stimulants, usually as a way to stay up late for studying. Prescription painkillers are typically used to get high, and 64% of teens who have abused them say they got the pills from a family member or a friend. Both teens and their parents often make the dangerous mistake of underestimating the risk of abusing prescriptions. More teens die as a result of prescription drug abuse than from using heroin and cocaine combined. Teenage drinking and drug use facts are not easy to swallow, especially for parents. But if you want to protect your teens from the harm of drugs and alcohol, you need to learn about this troubling subject. Knowledge is power, and by knowing more about this and sharing it with your children, you empower them to make better choices and to live long, healthy and satisfying lives free from addiction.