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Prevention in Youth


Almost all addicted adults began their problematic substance use during adolescence, a period of life when the brain is highly malleable, and when the neurological systems responsible for self-control and foresight are not fully developed. Thus, preventing the onset of addictive substance use in young people is a major concern of policymakers and the public. SNAP disseminates evidence-based policies that reduce young people’s exposure to addictive substances and increase their capacities to grow into healthy, happy adults.

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Scope of the Problem: Those who initiate drug use (tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, opioids, stimulants) at a young age are more likely to experience problems later with that drug or others. Although smoking tobacco is at a historic low among U.S. teenagers, the prevalence of vaping is soaring. About 1 in 7 twelfth graders has consumed five or more alcoholic drinks in a row at least once in the past two weeks. Heavy substance use among... Read more