A new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds that for teens, the first-time use of most substances (also known as "initiation") peaks in the summer months of June and July. Summer is the season when typically, most teenagers experience more freedoms and spend more time away from the watchful eyes of parents. The study's finding may encourage parents to take positive steps toward preventing substance use among their children.
Among the findings:
• On an average day in June, July, or December, more than 11,000 youths used alcohol for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 5,000 to 8,000 new users per day.
• On an average day in June or July, more than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time; in other months the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 new users per day.
• On an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time; in other months the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 new users per day.
Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA
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About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
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