Why Do American Teens Have Easy Access To Drugs?

In 1991 around 30% of students surveyed had used illicit drugs in grades 8-12. While this peaked at over 43% in 1997, it dropped to 27% in 2021.

But while it might seem that more teenagers these days are shunning drug use, death from overdoses in adolescents has increased, indicating that while fewer teens overall are using drugs, there appear to be higher consumption levels amongst those who do take drugs.

But, why do American teens have easy access to drugs, and what can be done to help support teenagers with a drug addiction?

The Home Environment

More and more people have been prescribed medication, meaning that teens don’t even have to leave home to access drugs. From cough medicines to sleeping tablets to prescribed opiates for injuries, if a teen wants to access treatments, they need to look no further than their parents in the medicine cabinet.

Choosing both inpatient and outpatient treatment for teens means getting control of the American teen drug access issue at home while supporting their recovery. This can be backed with Telemed services giving access to a therapist when required.

Social Media

These days teens are more connected than any other generation, and social media plays a big part in creating this connection with others. It also allows drug dealers to reach teenagers easier than ever before, thanks to networking online. And with people sharing their illicit hobbies and recreational drug use, it seems cooler than ever. 

In a world where information is at their fingertips, teens who take drugs are more informed about the type of drugs they take and the side effects, meaning they are taking them with more awareness than their older counterparts were at their age. Inpatient rehab treatment centers can remove the temptation of social media and teach teens how best to avoid falling back into old habits to continue their recovery.


Schools play a vital part in every teen’s life regardless of how academic they are, and if they are exposed to drugs at school, it can be hard to break away from them. You might be surprised to learn that the drug trade is more prevalent in schools than you have realized and is the most common way for teens to get easy access to drugs. And it isn’t just limited to public schools either, meaning the issue isn’t quickly resolved by changing schools. 

Choosing the proper support for teens with drug access means giving them the skills and tools to cope with a life without drugs and the ability to make the right decisions to stay clean. This is where an intensive outpatient treatment plan supported by Telemed services can be highly beneficial for teens who can learn to live their life in the real world while making positive changes for the future.


Everyone has access to the internet these days. With the growth of dispensaries in the US, thanks to changing laws regarding marijuana, teens can easily find drugs to buy, both legal and illegal. Not all dispensaries operate within the law, meaning that other types of drugs can be offered even though they’re not legally allowed to sell them. Some drug dealers use these storefronts to lure teens with promises of easy access to drugs. As they are operating illegally, there is no care or thought as to who purchases their illegal products.


It has never been easier for teens to have access to drugs. This can have devastating consequences for the whole family. If you are concerned your teen has a drug addiction, you can seek professional services to help them in their recovery.

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