Teenage Drug Abuse in the Philippines: The Scary Stats



Teens are not exempt from drug addiction. Teenage drug abuse is, in fact, common among those between 15 and 19 years old, according to the Dangerous Drugs Board. They report that nearly half of drug abuse cases they have recorded occur between this age group.

This is an unfortunate and alarming fact, as this can set them up to becoming addicted later on in their adult lives.

Access to prescription medication and the rampant availability of illicit drugs in our country’s streets is an entry point into teenage drug abuse. Some teens try it just because they’re curious. Others may experience peer pressure, or turn to these drugs to self-medicate mental health issues. They may also experience social isolation, permissive or lax parenting. Their parents may be using as well. Here in our country, there is also a lack of strict measures and support programs to educate teens and keep them away from these substances.

This said, it’s important that parents, guardians, and even the community as a whole work together. For parents, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of teenage drug abuse and do something about it before it turns into addiction.

But first, here are the facts.

Teenage Drug Addiction Facts

  • 1 in 2 drug users in the Philippines begin experimenting with illegal drugs when they were between the ages of 15 and 19
  • 1 in 4 students in the 12th grade experiment with illegal drugs
  • 2 in 5 teens who abuse prescription drugs take them from their parents’ medicine cabinet
  • 1 in 3 students in the 12th grade experienced using marijuana
  • Marijuana is the most widely abused illicit drug among teens and, contrary to popular belief, it is also addictive

Risk Factors of Teen Drug Abuse

  • A history of, or exposure to, substance abuse in the family
  • Traumatic experience or other forms of abuse
  • Feeling isolated or alienated
  • Having poor self-esteem
  • Permissive parenting
  • Poor mental and emotional health or behavioral issues
  • Experience in bullying or being bullied, whether online or in real life
  • Engaging in high-risk behavior (self-harm or being reckless)
  • Living in an area or community with rampant drug use and drug trafficking
  • Lack of knowledge about drug abuse

What Can Parents or Guardians Do?

How parents and guardians address their teen’s substance abuse can mean a world of difference. It can spell the difference between a teen being set up to an adult life in addiction, or one thriving into a healthy, mentally sound adult.

Giving them intervention gives you and your teen hope. It offers them a chance to pause, reassess their habits and behaviors, and learn better coping mechanisms that can help fortify them as they move into adulthood.

Talk to us at Bridges of Hope on how we can help your teen. 09175098826.

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