Youth Prevention

There is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and other drugs than young people. Addiction is most often an adolescent onset illness with 9 out of 10 adults who develop a substance use disorder beginning before the age of 18. All addictive substances have powerful effects on the brain. Adolescence and young adulthood is a critical period in the vulnerability to substance use and use disorders, because the brain undergoes significant developmental changes during this life stage, making it particularly vulnerable to substance exposure.

Addiction prevention and early intervention practices can and should be delivered to youth through as many avenues as possible, including school programming, the home environment, and through peer-to-peer delivery methods. Youth treatment and recovery supports also need to be designed to be age appropriate and culturally congruent to serving young people.

Find help - tailored to you

If you, or a young person you know, is struggling with an addiction, use this map to find quality help - specific to you and your issue.

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Online Resources

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It's never too early to find help.

Addiction is often an adolescent onset illness. A 2011 study showed that 9 out of 10 adults with a substance use disorder began using before the age of 18. This fact has huge implications for prevention and early intervention: if we can delay the onset of heavy substance use among young people, we can avoid some of the long-term social and public health impacts of addiction.


Since 2014 Sierra Castedo has been director of The Center for Students in Recovery at UT at Austin.


$4 in health care costs are saved for every dollar spent on substance use disorder treatment.


If you need help please call 1.800.622.2255

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