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Youth substance abuse prevention

Road sign that reads: "Healthy Life, Next Exit".

From November 17–21, 2014, mindyourmind joins the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and addiction organizations across the country to mark National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), placing a particular emphasis this year on youth substance abuse prevention.

Led nationally by CCSA, NAAW highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol- and other drug-related harm. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance abuse prevention, to talk about treatment and recovery, and to bring forward solutions for change.

Preventing youth from abusing drugs is a priority for mindyourmind. We are proud to partner with CCSA to shine a light on this issue for youth.

Youth 15 to 24 years old have the highest self-reported past-year use of illicit substances compared to other Canadians, and are approximately five times more likely than adults aged 25 years and older to report harm because of drug use.

A substantial amount of change and growth—including significant brain growth and development—takes place during youth. Substance use and abuse during this critical time can have impacts that persist long after the high has worn off, including chronic disease, addiction and mental health disorders.

For more information on National Addictions Awareness Week, please visit CCSA. You can also join the dialogue over social media by following @CCSAcanada and @mindyourmind_ca on Twitter and using the hashtag #NAAWCanada.

Quick Statistics

  • 57 — the percentage of Canadian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 who have used drugs sometime in their life
  • 12.8 — the average age at which students in grades 7 to 12 consumed their first alcoholic beverage
  • 13.7 — the average age at which students in grades 7 to 12 first used cannabis
  • 49 — the percentage of students in grades 10 to 12 who reported binge drinking in the past 12 months