“Adolescent substance use is on the rise across the country. Access to drugs (including opioids) and alcohol has increased exponentially, and the risks associated with substance use continue to grow in this vulnerable population. Again, the argument can be made that this is typical for a teenager to experiment with alcohol or other drugs, but I challenge that thinking, as it doesn’t have to be the case. The Centers for Disease Control have identified significant long-term impacts of adolescent substance use, which include impacts to physical growth and brain development, health and wellbeing problems, and increased engagement in behaviors that are deemed risky.”

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Oct 2, 2019
Op-Ed in Smoky Mountain News by Beth Young
WCU Social Work