Preventing Substance Abuse for Long Island High Schoolers

May 13, 2020

mother and daughter talking.

There has been a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students over the last several years, states a 2016 U.S. General Surgeon Report. Although traditional cigarette use has declined, the new electric cigarette is thought to be the new popular trend among teens and young adults. At LIHC, we are dedicated to helping prevent the growth of use of this addictive substance. We’ll discuss why the use of e-cigs is on the rise and what Long Island officials are doing to help prevent the growth of this addictive substance.

Unfortunately, e-cigarettes are not the only substance use that parents should be concerned about for their children. 15% of New York high school students reported drinking alcohol for the first time before turning 13, according to the High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey. When children get started drinking at a young age, they’re much more likely to become dependent on it and develop a substance abuse problem. In fact, says that 90% of people who have a substance addiction started drinking alcohol or using drugs before the age of 18.

From Alcohol to Vaping: The Substance Abuse Danger to High Schoolers

Using alcohol and drugs at such a young age can have detrimental effects on an adolescent’s growth, brain development and overall health. Substance abuse can also contribute to other risky behaviors, such as physical or sexual aggression. Worst of all, the use of various substances can lead to young adults losing their lives. AACAP reports that 50% of deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds involve alcohol or drug abuse.

Teens can get started drinking or using e-cigarettes for a combination of reasons; teens are curious, sometimes get a thrill from risky behavior or can be easily pressured in social situations. According to, 1 in 5 high school students reported using e-cigs in 2018. Many believe they could never get hooked, despite the fact that nicotine in e-cigarettes is an addictive substance.

A Review of the Basics of E-Cigarettes

These small, discrete electronic cigarettes are considered tobacco products since they contain nicotine. E-cigarettes go by many names, oftentimes referred to as vape pens, e-cigs, tanks and mods. They come in different shapes and sizes, and can sometimes be difficult to detect since they look like pens and flash drives. E-cigarette devices are used by heating a liquid, usually containing nicotine and a flavor, turning it into an aerosol the user inhales.

One of the reasons these are so attractive to a younger demographic is the use of the flavoring with the nicotine. This tactic was never allowed with traditional cigarettes, and many of the sweet flavors, like cotton candy, fruit punch, blueberry cheesecake and cherry cola, are appealing to teens and young adults. /p>

How to Educate Your Teen About Vaping & Substance Abuse

It’s never too late to teach adolescents the dangers of using substances or trying other risky behaviors, even if you think they might already be using substances. Through education and prevention measures, we believe we can steer the teens in our community away from these poor habits.

About the Horizons Center

For parents looking for a solution to a potential problem for their teens, or parents that want to take a proactive approach in educating their children about the dangers of substance abuse and underage drinking, consider the counseling and education options available at the Horizons Center! This nonprofit in Smithtown, NY created the featured video above, and provides parents and teens with counseling programs and educational prevention series about vaping, drinking, marijuana and peer pressure. Additionally, if you, a friend or a child needs substance abuse help, the Horizon Center in Smithtown provides rehabilitation services for teens and young adults.

Get Help for Teen Vaping and Substance Abuse

Long Island Health Collaborative supports all health initiatives among our Suffolk and Nassau counties, and we have a list of local Long Island resources that can help people going through this type of struggle. For more information, visit the Horizons Center or reach out to LIHC today.