The Unheard of Risks that Drug Abuse has on Teens

Friends drinking

Drug abuse has very specific and very damaging effects on people who partake in such activities. Different drugs have unique effects on people based on the drug being used. In addition to that, drugs will affect people based off of their age, sex, level of health, etc. One thing we can be certain of is that drug abuse will have negative effects on people of all ages, across the boards, and in all who partake in them.

Risks that Teens and Young Adults Face

When teens and young adults partake in drug use, they open themselves up to a wide range of risks to their health and vitality. Some of the more common risks are:

Young woman depressed, holding pregnancy test.
  • Teens who abuse prescription drugs and illegal street drugs are more likely to engage in unsafe sex or risky sexual behaviors than teens who do not abuse drugs. This opens such teens up to a wide range of risks that come with unprotected sex. Sex with multiple partners, sex while under the influence, unprotected sex, sex with persons of ill repute or of degenerate stature, all of this creates risk for unplanned pregnancies and for the transmission of STIs.
  • Overdose rates are the biggest concern for teens who partake in drug use. Teens and young adults are the most at risk for overdose deaths when drug use is a factor because young people statistically speaking take more risk when they abuse drugs than older people do. Even though teens and young people do not abuse drugs as often as adults in their late twenties and thirties do, when young people do abuse drugs, they are more likely to die from such activities than older adults are.
  • Another risk factor that teens and young adults face when they abuse drugs is the legal risk. Teens are just getting ready to start their lives, to conquer life, and to transition from childhood to adulthood. When teens take risks with drugs, they open the door to potential arrests and incarceration. When teens are incarcerated, even if just for a brief stint, this makes a permanent mark on their record, making life in the future unnecessarily difficult for them.
  • A risk factor for teen drug use is the threat of addiction. Because teens are still growing, still developing, and are not yet fully mature, teens are likely to become addicted to drugs after fewer uses than grown adults are. It does not take as much to hook them and to trap them with a harmful (sometimes life-ending) addiction.
  • Drug abuse incites more illicit activities. Teens who abuse drugs will be more likely to commit theft, to be violent, to be abusive, to grow up to be criminals, to harm others, etc. Young people are already somewhat boisterous and energized due to their age, adding drug use into the equation is a recipe for disaster.

Preventing Teen Drug Use

The best way to ensure that teens do not fall prey to drug use is to talk to them and to educate them about the risk factors involved with drug use. When teens know what they are dealing with and when they know the truth about drugs, they are far less likely to experiment.

The overwhelming reasons why teens partake in drug use is peer pressure and not knowing the real risks involved. Peer pressure is probably unavoidable, but we can take it upon ourselves to educate our teens better and to have talks with them about the negative effects of drug use. Our future generation will be far better off if we do.




After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.