Drug-Use Trends in East Texas

by Jessica Cervantez

Linda Few-James is part of three educational programs with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council. She works with teenagers all the time, and she says, there is no doubt teen use of prescription drugs is going up in East Texas.

James said, "Kids are looking for things to do in East Texas, since they are very limited, and prescription drugs are easy to get. You can twist ankle, hurt a finger, and go to the emergency and get a prescription."

The use of nicotine is going down. But, James is not sold on the idea that underage drinking is decreasing.

James said, "I haven't seen a decrease in drinking. As an instructor in a minor in possession program we are seeing an increase."

Twenty-one students were in her last class, most of them high school-age, and 65% of teenagers get their alcohol from family and friends.

James said, "Don't just automatically determine that your kid would never do this."

James wants parents to be aware of warning signs. They include a change in behavior and even a change in friends. She also wants parents to know, there is help out there.