Teens are much more likely to try alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs for the first time during the summer months, according to a new survey.
Researchers found first-time use of these substances, as well as marijuana and hallucinogens, peaks during June and July, with thousands of youths trying them each day compared to other months.
Risky Summer Experimentation
In the study, researchers analyzed information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002-2010. The survey asked participants between the ages of 12 and 17 when they first used alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other substances.
The results showed first-time use of all alcohol, tobacco products, marijuana, hallucinogens, and inhalants peaked dramatically in June or July.
For example, on an average day in June or July:
- More than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time, compared with averages of about 3,000 to 4,000 new users in other months.
- More than 4,800 youths smoked marijuana for the first time, compared with a daily average of about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months.
- More than 1,500 youths used hallucinogens for the first time, compared with averages of about 1,100 to 1,400 per day in other months.