The recently released National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides an overview of substance use and mental health for individuals aged 12 or older. One of the findings indicates that tobacco and illegal drug use among teens in Texas is slightly lower than the national average. But is that news really as good as it sounds?

The survey, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is based on data obtained in 2014. According to Peter Delany, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 7.8 percent of teenagers in Texas reported using illicit drugs during the previous 30 days. This represents about a point-and-a-half difference from the figure of 9.2 percent of teens across the country.

Cigarette use is also at a lower level. Only five percent of Texas teenagers admitted to smoking cigarettes in the past month, slightly more than a point lower than the 6.1 percent of teens throughout the nation who used tobacco. Among adults aged 18 and older, illegal drug use is lower than the national percentages, with alcohol consumption roughly equal.

While the Texas numbers look good in comparison, they are still high enough to raise concern. The really troubling news is in the area of mental health. Depression among teens in Texas is higher than the national rate and continuing to rise. Those reporting thoughts of suicide came to a total of 3.6 percent, a negligible difference from the national rate of just under four percent. Mental disorders often trigger substance abuse in a condition known as dual diagnosis.

If you have a teen who is struggling with substance abuse, getting help now can prevent a future of chronic addiction. Visit the website of our Miami-based rehab facility to learn more about our alcohol, drug and dual diagnosis treatment programs tailored to meet your teen’s individual needs.