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.”READ MORE: NYPD Investigating Citywide Bank Robbery Pattern; Man Accused Of Stealing More Than $4,000 From 5 Banks
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“Sometimes we minimize it. We say ‘Oh well, at least they’re only using alcohol. They’re not using cocaine’,” Foster said.READ MORE: SPECIAL COVERAGE: 'AIDS Walk New York: Live At Home' On CBSN New York
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.MORE NEWS: NYPD Releases Video Of Vandalism Suspect After Crucifix Toppled, Flag Burned At Brooklyn Church
Does this study’s findings sound credible? Sound off in our comments section below…