Earlier age at drug initiation has been shown to be associated with faster transition to substance use disorder (SUD).
Discussion | Using nationally representative data, we observed higher prevalence of SUD within 12 months of cannabis and prescription misuse initiation among adolescents than among young adults (e.g., cannabis use disorder: 10.7%vs 6.4% within 12 months; 20.1% vs 10.9% at more than 36 months), consistent with the association of faster transition to SUDs with younger age at drug initiation. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening for substance use among adolescents, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends such screening in primary care settings only among adults. Our results underscore the vulnerability of adolescents to SUDs and the importance of screening for substance misuse among adolescents.
Dr Nora Volkow et al – Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Demand Reduction, Prevention and Early Intervention, including drug screening of teens is good public and personal health practice.