Does Race Play a factor in Teen Alcohol Abuse?

by: Mike Miller

When you were in high school did you use drugs or alcohol? Did your friends? Was there a certain stigma given to people who did? Did race play a factor? According to a new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and reported by Business Week, Asian and black teens are less likely to party.

Black and Asian teenagers in the U.S. are less likely to use alcohol or drugs than adolescents of other races.

The survey of 72,561 teens found that American Indian youth had the highest level of drug or alcohol use, with 48 percent reporting they had used the substances in the past year. That was followed by 39 percent of whites, 37 percent of Hispanics, 36 percent mixed-race teens, 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians.

Overall, 37 percent, or 27,705, of the teens in the study said they used alcohol or drugs in the past year.

These statistics still are quite alarming, especially given that they are probably skewed downward. This is a very real public health. We need to be looking for it and we need to be trying to jump in to do what we can to get these kids into treatment and turn them around while they’re still adolescents.

About 90 percent of all adults with alcohol and drug problems started using before the age of 18 and half started before the age of 15.

It seems that more MIP classes are needed. Despite all our efforts the message clearly is not coming through strong enough. Steps need to be taken now if we are to help save our and our children’s future.