Regardless of all the efforts made to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, things seem to only keep getting worse. Most recently, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the rate of teen drug overdose deaths increased 19 percent from 2014 to 2015, climbing from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 teens to 3.7 per 100,000. These saddening statistics involve teens between the ages 15-19.
The majority of these overdoses were unintentional and related to opioid abuse, including both prescription drugs and illicit drugs. While there was an overall decline in overdose deaths resulting from methadone and prescription opioids, there was an increase in deaths that involved heroin and synthetic opioids.
However, the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey did provide some good news. The annual report showed a decline in the use of illicit drugs and misuse of prescription drugs among teenagers. Additionally, while there was an overall increase in teen overdose deaths, the total amount remains relatively low. In 2015, there were 772 drug overdose deaths among teenagers aged 15-19.