Skip to content

Substance Abuse Awareness

The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) reports that teenagers in Tennessee are 18.64% less likely to use drugs than adolescents (ages 12-17) nationwide. However, drug use is still significantly impacting teenagers across our state. According to NCDAS, 35,000 (6.78%) of Tennessee teenagers reported using drugs in the last month. Within that number, 82.86% used marijuana in the last month. The percentage of teenagers who used alcohol in the last month was 9.10%. These statistics give us a snapshot of a much larger problem.

Things for parents to consider:

  • Educate yourself on the difference between CBD and THC. – Click HERE to access a webpage from WebMD that gives a detailed look into the difference. Speak to your child’s pediatrician if you have additional questions.
  • Drug dealers target teenagers. – Drug dealers use platforms like Snapchat and TikTok to connect with teens. Teenagers can buy drugs through these platforms and the drugs can be delivered to the teenager’s house. Click HERE to read about the response Snapchat is taking to help protect teens (specially from fentanyl).
  • Know how drugs in edible form are being marketed. – There are edibles that are available for purchase that look very similar to well-known candy, cereal, and snacks. Click HERE to read an article on the Detroit Free Press website by Dr. Leonard Pollack. This article gives more details on this national problem. Below is a picture for reference.
Edible packing that looks very similar to popular candies.

Conversations about these types of topics can be overwhelming to parents. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed a program to help parents: Talk, They Hear You. This program has a lot of resources to help parents navigate the topic of substance use. Click HERE to find out why you should be talking about substances with your teen.

For more information, check out the Substance Use tab on our Resource Page.