Teens may start to experiment with drugs at different ages, but many begin in their early to mid-adolescent years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the peak age for trying drugs for the first time is around 14 years old. However, some teens may start experimenting as early as age 12, whereas others may not try drugs until their late teenage years.
There are several factors that can contribute to a teen's decision to experiment with drugs, including peer pressure, curiosity, a desire to fit in, and a lack of knowledge about the risks and consequences of drug use. Adolescence is also a time of significant brain development and hormonal changes, which can make teens more vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Parents and caregivers can play an essential role in preventing drug use among teens by having open and honest conversations about the risks and consequences of drug use, setting clear expectations and boundaries, and providing positive reinforcement for healthy behaviors. It's also essential to seek professional help if you are concerned that your teen may be struggling with substance use or mental health issues.
If you think your child might be experimenting with drugs or alcohol, we can help. Read more about early interventions HERE.