NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 90-percent of Americans suffering from addiction started using before the age of 18.

“Adolescent substance use is America’s number one public health problem,” said Susan Foster, who conducted a study of 1,000 American teens for the Center. “It’s a huge, huge public health problem of epidemic proportion.”

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Alcohol is the most abused followed by cigarettes, marijuana and prescription drugs.

“Sometimes we minimize it. We say ‘Oh well, at least they’re only using alcohol. They’re not using cocaine’,” Foster said.

The study found 46-percent, or 6 million U.S. high school students use these substances.

“One of the most striking findings is that one in eight adolescents, these are high school-age teens, already have the disease of addiction,” she added.

“It interferes with brain development and it heightens dramatically the risk of addiction,” Foster said.

Does this study’s findings sound credible? Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (2)
  1. KPMc says:

    The headline of this article has nothing to do with the article itself. Is teen drug addiction on the rise as the headline says? Because it is not mentioned in the article. If current usage is 46% what was the rate previously?

    How can these headlines and articles be written so poorly?

  2. Tommy says:

    Stiffer jail terms is the only answer…you know…since that has clearly worked already in curbing drug addiction….

Leave a Reply