8 Popular Teen Drugs: Their Effects & Symptoms

It’s an unfortunate fact that in today’s society, teenagers are more than likely to come in contact with drugs.

Whether or not they go on to use drugs is dependent on many factors, one of them being their knowledge of drugs in terms of effect, both short term and long term, and their learned attitude towards drugs.

As parents, it’s our job to do our best to arm our children with the knowledge that can help prepare them to make healthy decisions and better protect them against peer group pressure.

Knowing today’s reality and being aware that young people can easily come into contact with drugs, it’s therefore pivotal to be prepared if we are to help our children make better choices.

To achieve this, we need to be educated about the effects of different types of drugs and symptoms of use in order to know when and how to talk about drugs with our youngsters.

According to data provided by Do Something, a US Organization comprised of millions of young people transforming their communities, by the 8th grade, 28 percent of adolescents have drunk alcohol, 15 have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5 percent have used cannabis.

As parents, our main goal is to raise children who will become responsible and successful adults prepared to face the numerous challenges of life. And, one of the best ways to manage our lives is with a clear mind that’s free of substances like drugs and alcohol.

Despite a lot of young people being aware that drugs and tobacco are bad and thus, don’t use these substances, there are those who do experiment with substances.

The problem arises when teens are attracted by the hype associated with mind altering and often use drugs thinking it will make them more popular, cooler, attractive, and mature.

The reality is that substances do offer something; otherwise, they wouldn’t be an issue. This includes temporary escape, relaxed inhibitions, fleeting pleasure, etc.

The challenge for parents is to give their children more than the dos and don’ts. We need to equip them with the right knowledge and proper skills to bring wise decisions on their own. We need to show them there are other healthy alternatives to enjoy life like sports, music, reading, writing, etc.

According to the Center for Parent and Teen Communication located in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and offering science-based methods for parents and adults to prepare adolescents for the future, young people need us to shape their views, more than peers, media, and school.

This is our pivotal role and though having these crucial talks won’t be easy, you can’t be replaced.

With this in mind, this report has been prepared to help inform you about 8 distinct types of drugs common among teens. Check them out in the list below.

8 Popular Teen Drugs, Their Effects & Symptoms

     1. Alcohol

Alcohol is the most popular drug among teens and more than 50 percent of high school seniors abuse it, according to Project Know, an American Addiction Centers Resource.


Alcohol is quite appealing to young people because it’s available at homes; it’s considered low risk due to being legal, and usually linked with fun and parties.


When consumed, its effects are produced in 10 minutes or so and some of the major ones include more comfort in social occasions, lowered worry and anxiousness, and decreased inhibitions.


Unfortunately, if drunk in larger amounts for a longer period of time, alcohol can be disastrous and cause memory problems, learning problems, mood changes, poor decision-making, lowered physical coordination, seizures, as well as death from overdose or an accident.


In case of alcohol abuse in teens, a professional treatment may be needed. Some of the therapies that may be recommended by your doctor include therapy, support groups, specific meds, etc.

     2. Cannabis

High school students frequently consume cannabis and though it’s mostly consumed by smoking, there are also other means like edible products.


Cannabis or marijuana has a psychoactive chemical known as THC which is known to link to some brain parts that cause dopamine release. This is a neurotransmitter that’s connected with reward and pleasure.


Marijuana’s quite attractive to teenagers due to the notion that’s not dangerous and many young users consider it non-addictive.


They also believe that it doesn’t pose a negative health risk. Data shows that less than 32 percent of 12th graders thought that regular cannabis use could be dangerous.


The positive effects of marijuana include euphoria, lowered worrying and stress, and feeling of peace and well-being.


But, marijuana use can have negative influence too and addiction is possible. The risk of addiction is higher in people who start using it early in life.


Some of the major unwanted effects that stem from regular use are respiratory issues, learning and memory problems, poorer judgment and decision-making skills, as well as higher risk of mental problems like depression, anxiety, and psychosis.


Treatment for marijuana is focused on behavioral and mental therapy as there are no meds approved for treatment. This may include individual and family therapy, support groups, and substance abuse education.

     3. Ecstasy

This is a popular club drug which teenagers use to feel euphoria while partying, usually at raves and clubs.