10. Isn't alcohol/drug experimentation normal for adolescents?
Yes. The majority of young people who use alcohol and other drugs excessively during their adolescent and young adult years mature out of such use. They reach a decision to stop alcohol and drug use completely or they gradually reduce the frequency and intensity of such use as they take on adult responsibilities (e.g., full time employment, a stable intimate relationship, parenthood, and involvement in community civic activities). This fact does not diminish the risks and prolonged consequences that can result from adolescent substance use including developmental delays, school problems, family discord, lifealtering events such as arrest and incarceration, and even injury or death (3). Responsible parents should not ignore adolescent substance use and related problems. The risks are high. Substance use problems can quickly escalate in the absence of consequences.