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Adolescents Perceive Greater Risk to Using Tobacco Products Than Illicit Drugs or Binge DrinkingPerceptions of lower risk may influence decisions to experiment with drugs
Adolescents across all age groups perceive a greater risk to smoking cigarettes than the use of alcohol and other substances including cocaine and LSD, according to a new report based on a national survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). An individual’s perception of risk about a substance can be a key factor whether they decide to refrain from using.
“We are on the right track with cigarette smoking and need to keep raising awareness among teens about the dangers of other substances,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “Understanding that perception of harm is a strong predictor of potential substance use among young people can help guide the development of substance prevention messages.”
The survey found that although the perception of risk in terms of cigarette smoking remained relatively constant among all adolescent groups, the perception of risk associated with other types of substances varied considerably by gender and age. Key findings from the NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) survey include:
Perceptions of Risk from Substance Abuse among Adolescents is based on the responses of 44,979 adolescents aged 12-17 participating in the 2007 and 2008 SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The full report is available online at: http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/158/158RiskPerceptions.cfm. It may also be obtained by calling the SAMHSA Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or at: http://ncadistore.samhsa.gov/catalog/productDetails.aspx?ProductID=18235.
For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/ .
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration • 1 Choke Cherry Road • Rockville, MD 20857