Substance use is when you take or ingest any substance, such as alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse is when you take or ingest more than what is recommended of a substance.
For teenagers, it is recommended to avoid all substances because your brain is not fully developed. However, many teens experiment with different substances like vaping, weed, tobacco, and alcohol. Some teenagers may even consider “hard drugs” such as cocaine, meth, or opioids. Regardless of the substance, if it’s not prescribed by a doctor and taken as prescribed, experimenting with substances can have negative effects. Many teens will start out taking one substance and end up taking something else.
The danger in using substances that aren’t prescribed to you is that you don’t know how it will impact you. Pretty quickly, what feels like casual or experimental use can turn into a substance use problem, which has long lasting and negative consequences. Before you decide to use a substance, know the risks and potential consequences, or reach out to a health professional to talk about it!