Teens More Likely to Try Cigarettes, Marijuana and/or Alcohol in June or July

Teens are more likely to try cigarettes or marijuana in June or July than any other month, says Join Together, a collaboration of the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Summertime is an exciting time for kids, but down-time and less structure and supervision can have dangerous outcomes. 

The following is part of an article released on July 9th, 2012:

"Teenagers are more likely to start smoking cigarettes or marijuana in June or July than in any other month, according to a new government study.

Teens are more likely to try cigarettes or marijuana in June or July than any other month, says Join Together, a collaboration of the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Summertime is an exciting time for kids, but down-time and less structure and supervision can have dangerous outcomes. 

The following is part of an article released on July 9th, 2012:

"Teenagers are more likely to start smoking cigarettes or marijuana in June or July than in any other month, according to a new government study.

On an average day in June or July, more than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time, while in other months, the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 new users per day, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA). The study found that on an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time, compared with 3,000 to 4,000 in other months, CBS Newsreports.

“More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in a news release. “That is why it is critically important to take every opportunity we can throughout the year to talk to our young people about the real risks of substance abuse and effective measures for avoiding it, so they will be informed and capable of making the right decisions on their own.”

The study found first alcohol use increased to more than 11,000 teens a day in June and July and December. During the rest of the year, 5,000 to 8,000 teens start drinking on any average day."

Not only does first-time tobacco and marijuana use increase drastically in the summer but so does first-time alcohol use.

For example, on an average day in June or July, more than 11,000 teens aged 12 to 17 try alcohol for the first time, compared with averages of about 5,000-8,000 first-time users in most other months. December was the only other month with a similar peak in first-time alcohol use.

"More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse," Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which conducted the study, says in a news release.

A few statistics were given from the WebMD article on First-Time Teen Alcohol & Drug Use Peaks in Summer article:

"For example, on an average day in June or July:

  • More than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time, compared with averages of about 3,000 to 4,000 new users in other months.
  • More than 4,800 youths smoked marijuana for the first time, compared with a daily average of about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months.
  • More than 1,500 youths used hallucinogens for the first time, compared with averages of about 1,100 to 1,400 per day in other months.

First-time use of inhalants also peaked in July, with more than 1,800 new users on average per day, compared with about 1,100 to 1,700 new users each day in other months.

Researchers found youths were most likely to try alcohol for the first time in July, with 11,598 new users, followed by December (11,432) and June (11,123), compared with monthly averages around 5,000 to 8,000 in other months."

This unfortunate information comes at an excellent time, however, to remind us all to talk with youth in the community, your students and your neighbors and children about the dangers of smoking, promote positive, healthy activities as well as practice resistance skills.