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There is no simple answer to why a teen might begin using drugs or alcohol Many times it is a combination of several things They may turn to drugs to escape stress or loneliness or to overcome shyness in social situations They may want to be seen as grown up or they may simply be curious Teens often want to be like their role models as well so if their favorite music group or a cool friend at school uses drugs or alcohol they may also use drugs or alcohol to be like them Teen Health Adolescence is often a time of low self-esteem which can develop as a result of not being able to grow and change as quickly as desired A young person with low self-esteem may feel they are not as smart attractive talented or popular as their friends They may also feel pressured by parents teachers or others to achieve goals To help deal with the pressure a young person with low self-esteem may be more likely to put aside hisher good judgment and turn to drugs or alcohol to escape Teen Health Drug use in America is extremely high even more when it comes to teens Overall drug use did not increase between 1999 and 2000 While there was improvement among the youngest age group ages 12-17 increases were seen in the use of the drug Ecstasy The proportion of 8th graders said ecstasy use in the last 12 months rose from 17 percent in 1999 to 31 percent in 2000 Among 10th graders Ecstasy use rose from 44 percent to 54 percent and among 12th graders from 56 percent to 82 percent 23 Teens try drugs A survey released in 2002 from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse CASA at Columbia University indicates that 95 percent of teens that smoke cigarettes start at or before age 15 Ninety three percent of teens
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