Outreach Programs May Help Prevent Teens Drug Addiction

In 2008, there were approximately 8.8 million drug-related hospital visits in the U.S., according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). As addiction remains a growing problem for Americans, drug rehabilitation facilities and substance abuse programs have become a crucial means of treatment.

Not all individuals struggling with addiction come from broken homes. Antonio Gutierrez, 46, is a youth outreach worker from Massachusetts. He tells The Daily Item that although he found himself addicted to drugs at one point in his life, he came from a supportive family.

“I came from a loving home, but I was attracted to the streets and the attraction was money,” Gutierrez told the news source. “I was sneaking out, smoking weed.”

He added that having someone to talk to can help steer young adults away from drug use. Gutierrez has worked on a number of projects in his community to renovate parks and playgrounds to give kids an alternative to drugs.

Nearly 44 percent of high school sophomores reported they had illicitly used drugs in 2003, according to TeenDrugAbuse.us. Substance abuse programs for youth and drug rehabilitation centers can offer counseling and treatment for individuals with addiction.