Teen Girls Are Using More Drugs and Alcohol Than Boys

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A report released today shows increases in alcohol and drug consumption among teenage girls.

This discovery comes as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America that revealed that over 50% of girls believe drugs could allow them to forget about the problems which they might have in their lives, such as depression, family troubles and exam stress. That's up from 61-percent of respondents in 2008.

This undermines previous thoughts that girls were far less likely to be involved in substance abuse – and it has been sparking fears that not enough is being done to warn vulnerable young people of the dangers of addiction.

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People should not believe girls are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than boys, says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

"Parents of teen girls have to be especially attentive to their daughters' moods and mental health needs, which can have a direct effect on their child's decision to risk her health by getting high and drinking," said Pasierb. "Parents can help prevent alcohol and drug abuse by recognizing and addressing their daughters' worries and stresses, by supporting her positive decisions and by taking immediate action if they suspect or know she has been experimenting with drugs and alcohol."

"Your daughter, who you may assume may not be doing drugs, is actually more predisposed to this," he says. Teens are using drugs and alcohol not to rebel or get high but as a way to "escape for a short period of time," Pasierb says.
"We've become a society that basically says, 'If things aren't perfect in your life, take a pill,' " says Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation. Television advertisements for prescription drugs give children and teens the wrong impression about medicine, she says. "This causes our young people to see drugs as an answer."

The research conducted on the adolescent brain has revealed that there are major differences between males and females. According to the study, the girls are neurologically more sensitive to emotional stress. In parts of the brain, the girls mature earlier than the boys. The increased sensitivity combined with calm attitudes and easier access to alcohol, may elucidate the difference between boys and girls in case of drinking.

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