HealthDay News — U.S. teens are most likely to initiate substance abuse in the summer months of June and July, according to a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Among teens aged 17 years and younger, first-time use of many substances, including alcohol, marijuana and tobacco products, peaks during these months, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate.
“More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a press release.
There were more than 11,000 new young alcohol users on an average day in June, July or December, compared to about 5,000 to 8,000 new users in other months, the researchers found. Furthermore, more than 5,000 youth smoked cigarettes for the first time on an average day in June or July, compared with about 3,000 to 4,000 per day in other months.
There were also more than 4,800 first-time users of marijuana seen in June or July, compared with a daily average of about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months.
“This information could help parents, prevention providers, and communities take positive steps toward preventing use among their children,” the researchers wrote.