Some students from grade 7 to 12 may use alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Here are is a list of some drugs that are used:

Drugs or Substances Used

  • Diet Pills
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • LSD
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • PCP
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy
  • Gasoline
  • Glue

And the #1 drug that is most used by adolescents is: Alcohol.


Why do teens use drugs?

  • To fit in
  • To numb their feelings
  • It feels good

cartoon teen with long hair, a clock as a background, and the word STRESS next to the teenager

  • To satisfy curiosity
  • To rebel

Many times, mental illness and substance abuse go hand in hand.  Teens that use substances sometimes have depression or fear social situations, while others have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (link), bulimia, and/or schizophrenia.

Effects of Drug Abuse

Your Relationships

Drugs can make the drug user feel more angry or have outbursts of different emotions. This negatively affects their relationships they have because it increases the likelihood for conflict to occur.


This applies to when the drug user is high and when trying to find enough money to get more of the drug. They might find themselves in dangerous situations and may lose control over their actions. When people are intoxicated, they possibly could make unsafe choices such as  having unprotected sex and/or sharing drug paraphernalia that could lead to contracting diseases like hepatitis and HIV.


Keeping up with assignments, tests,  concentrating in class, and studying can prove to be very difficult if the drug user is always thinking of their next high or when they’re recovering from a high.


Drug users could lose their job by going to work high, or missing shifts because they were using. This is also very likely to make them have a harder time finding their next job.


If you’re suffering from depression, drugs can contribute to the development of depression. At the same time, they can cause you to develop depression if you aren’t suffering from depression. You could feel very down after using drugs due to the drug itself or due to something you did while you were on the drug.

two photos of two glass mirrors being shattered side by side


Youth at risk for substance abuse

  • Runaway and Street-Involved Youth
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Two Spirited, and Asexual
  • Youth in Custody
  • Indigenous Youth
  • Sexually-abused and exploited youth
  • Adolescents with ADHD

These youth groups are generally more at risk because their life situations are more stressful in a variety of ways. This, combined with the usual hardships of growing up can be very difficult for youth to cope. Here are the facts.


  • Medications and or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for mental health problems
  • Family Therapy

After someone has completed treatment, there should still be follow ups even well after treatment since substance abuse is a chronic disorder. If you or a youth you know is suffering from substance abuse, please contact your local mental health organization for support. Many schools and crises lines also have access to mental health resources if you’re having difficulty finding local resources.

There are many ways to treat substance abuse. Contact your healthcare provider for resources.”

Frontenac Youth Services
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