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CDC: Stress driving some teens to drugs, alcohol

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Supporting reports that using mental health strategies could impact teens’ substance use. 

Teens in treatment for substance use disorder were asked to identify their reasons for using drugs and alcohol, with about 9,500 responses compiled between 2014 and 2022. 

The most common motivation was to feel mellow.

Many other top reasons were related to stress, with 44% saying they use substances to stop worrying about a problem, and 40% said they use substances to cope with depression. 

“Educating adolescents on harm reduction practices, including the risks of using drugs alone and ensuring they are able to recognize and respond to overdose (e.g., administering naloxone), could prevent fatal overdoses,” according to the CDC report, and “reducing stress and promoting mental health among adolescents might lessen motivations for substance use.” 

Full story: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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