Those Who Begin Using Substances at Early Ages More Likely To Be Admitted for Substance Abuse Treatment

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Source: Tom Varco

Source: Tom Varco

According to a recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people who begin using substances at a young age are at significantly greater risk of needing treatmen for substance abuse later in life. While this may seem like common sense, it also highlights the need for intervention and prevention methods at early ages.

In 2011, 74 percent of people ages 18 to 30 who were admitted for substance abuse treatent started using substances at the age of 17 or younger. The report also showed that 10.2 percent of those admitted for treatment began using before the age of 12.

Those who start using substances at a younger age were more likely to be abusing more than one substance at the time of treatment.

“Early to late adolescence is considered a critical risk period for the beginning of alcohol and drug use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Knowing the age a person starts the use of a substance can inform treatment facilities so that they can better provide timely and appropriate prevention and treatment programs.”

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