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even occasional drug use can be dangerous

One misconception connected to the increase in prescription drug abuse by teens is that using drugs is safe as long as you only do it “every once in a while.” Many teens believe that if they only occasionally use drugs, they can’t have an overdose or become addicted.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of evidence that even occasional drug use can be dangerous and can lead to a risk of developing other problems during adolescence as well as into adulthood.

We frequently see stories in the news in which a teenager experimenting with drugs for the first time dies from an accidental overdose, or a teen drinking alcohol for the first time dies from acute alcohol poisoning.

Drugs affect different people in different ways, and some people can experience dangerous side effects or even a fatal reaction the first time they take a drug. Even when you have a prescription for the drug, you can have an adverse reaction

Years of scientific research into early-onset substance abuse – drinking or using drugs before age 15 especially – is linked to a variety of risks for other problems. Research has shown that doing drugs or drinking before age 21 is linked to:

Significantly higher risks of developing substance abuse problems as an adult
Five times the risk of becoming addicted or chemically dependent early in adulthood
A greater likelihood of using illicit drugs and developing a dependence upon them
The development of a smaller brain size compared to teens who do not drink or do drugs
A greater risk of developing other problems including depression, suicide, risky sexual behavior, behavioral problems and problems at home and school