What It's Like to Go to Rehab Before Age 21,
Adolescent substance use is often seen as a normal part of the teenage and young adult experience. But sometimes it goes beyond youthful experimentation. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 5 percent of all adolescents—an estimated 1.3 million US adolescents ages 12 to 17—had a substance use disorder in 2014, and the highest rate of illicit drug use was among youth ages 18 to 20. Additionally, another report found that overdose deaths among young people aged 12 to 25 have more than doubled in 18 states since 2001.
Despite these numbers, only a reported 10 percent of adolescents ever receive treatment for their substance abuse. So what’s it like for the ones who do—those who go to rehab before they’ve ever even had a legal drink? We asked people who have been there.
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Britni De La Cretaz