A new study has disturbing news for parents and car accident attorneys who are concerned about the increasing rates of underage drinking.
The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that teenagers being treated for substance abuse problems are much more likely to battle alcohol addiction than drug abuse. The researchers analyzed data from 2009. The data involved about 374,000 people between the age of 18 and 24. All of these people had been treated for substance dependence. Most of the persons admitted for treatment were young adults who were not enrolled in college. About 12,000 of the persons, who had to be treated for substance abuse, were enrolled in college.
Nearly 50% of the college students, who were being treated for substance abuse and addiction, admitted that they had problems with alcohol use. In contrast, the number of students who admitted they had problems with drug abuse was 30.6%.
According to the researchers, this indicates that alcohol plays a much more destructive role in teen lives than drug use. That doesn’t mean that drug use isn’t widespread among college students. The researchers found that marijuana use is a significant problem among persons both in the college-going crowd as well as those not enrolled in any college. Marijuana accounted for about 30.9% of college students undergoing treatment for substance abuse, and 30% of the non-college students being treated for substance abuse. However, when the researchers analyzed the data for other kinds of drugs, they found that the treatment rates are much lower for those with drug abuse problems, compared to alcohol.
The report has been a fascinating read for car accident lawyers, because underage drinking is such a huge driving factor in motor vehicle accidents involving persons of this age group. Teenagers and young adults are at some of the highest risks of accidents, mainly because of their inexperience behind the wheel. However, there are a number of other factors that increase a teenager’s risk of an accident. Alcohol use is one of those factors.
The law prohibits persons below the age of 21 from possessing or imbibing alcohol. However, as any car accident lawyer knows, underage drinking is widely prevalent in the United States. As the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows, teenagers are not just drinking alcohol, but drinking in quantities large enough to lead to addiction.