Shocking Rise in Teen Illicit Drug Use

'Drug use is way up, and the drugs that are skyrocketing are pot, inhalants, acid, and heroin,' according to D. Peter Rogers, director of the adolescent/young adult medicine program at a Chattanooga, Tennessee hospital. 'Alcohol use (also) stays up there,' he added.

The doctor believes that the dramatic increase in illicit drug use among adolescents is being fueled by a culture that glorifies drugs, lenient and self-indulgent baby boom parents, and a decline in the 'perceived harmfulness' of drugs.

Dr. Rogers said the 'war on drugs' and 'just say no' campaigns resulted in decreases in drug use for a short time, but lost their punch when Americans turned their attentions to other pressing issues.

He pointed to the family as the only real hope for a long term solution to the problem. 'Survey results convince me that if parents don't get involved with their kids' decisions about alcohol and tobacco, the so-called 'gateway drugs,' then these kids are pretty much up for grabs. They will gravitate toward lifestyles with no rules and few absolutes,' he said.

'Kids don't need critics, they need role models in the home.'