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Journal of Addiction
Volume 2013, Article ID 579310, 9 pages
Review Article

Familial, Social, and Individual Factors Contributing to Risk for Adolescent Substance Use

1Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3Department of Ethnic Studies, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

Received 30 November 2012; Revised 5 February 2013; Accepted 15 February 2013

Academic Editor: Monica H. Swahn

Copyright © 2013 Mackenzie Whitesell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal high numbers of adolescent substance use in the United States. Substance use among adolescents can lead to increased risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections, vehicular fatalities, juvenile delinquency, and other problems associated with physical and mental health. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to involvement in substance use due to the underdeveloped state of the adolescent brain, which can lead to reduced decision-making ability and increased long-term effects of drugs and alcohol. Understanding the causes of adolescent substance use is vital for successful prevention and intervention programs.