A recently release report from SAMHSA indicates that adolescents are more likely to engage in first-time substance use during the summer months. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health report indicates that first-time use of most substances peaks during the summer months, with more than 11,000 youths using alcohol for the first time each day. Youth are also more likely to experiment with cigarette smoking during the summer months. On an average day in June or July, over 3000 youth will experiment with marijuana use for the first time.
Crisis workers should be aware of these statistics, as they may be seeing adolescents in crisis as the result of drug or alcohol experimentation. It is important for crisis workers to question youth about their substance use during evaluations and to be sensitive to the heightened risk of substance use in the summer months.