The common drugs teenagers abuse will vary based on location, but certain drugs are more popular than others. By recognizing the common substances, it is possible to identify the signs that a teen is using a drug inappropriately or illicitly.



According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 36.4 percent of illicit drug use by teenagers is marijuana abuse. The rate of marijuana abuse has increased in recent years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The increased rate of abuse is primarily related to the perception of the drug. Since marijuana has been legalized for medical use in certain states, teenagers have a lower perceived risk when they think about the drug. Teens do not necessarily see the substance as dangerous, so they are more willing to try it when it is offered.


Synthetic Marijuana

Although the name suggests that the drug has the same level of risk as marijuana, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that the risking rate of synthetic marijuana abuse is a large concern because it is laced with harmful chemicals.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11.3 percent of teenagers in 12th grade admit to trying synthetic marijuana. The problem with the drug is that it is very dangerous and the health risks are not fully understood. Teenagers assume that the substance is not dangerous because it is called synthetic marijuana, but the fact is that the substances are extremely dangerous as a result of the inconsistent chemicals that are used to create the substance.



Adderall is a prescription medication. According to, Adderall was developed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. Since it is a prescription drug, some cases of Adderall abuse may be related to a legitimate medical condition. The problem is that the drug is not always used appropriately or according to the suggestions of a doctor.

Adderall abuse accounts for roughly 7.6 percent of teenager drug abuse, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since it is prescribed for ADHD, it is a medication that teenagers can find easily.



Vicodin abuse closely follows Adderall with 7.5 percent of teenagers in 12th grade trying the drug for recreational purposes, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The opiate drug is commonly prescribed for pain, so it is readily available and many teenagers may find the drug in their parent’s medicine cabinet or might be prescribed the drug for injuries or accidents that cause pain.

The most commonly abused drugs are constantly changing, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that cocaine abuse, inhalant abuse and ecstasy abuse has been decreasing among teenagers.

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