From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Bruner) and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Dr Fishman), The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Mountain Manor Treatment Center (Drs Bruner and Fishman), Baltimore, Md.
Edited by Ronna Henry Siegel, MD, Contributing Editor.
PLANO, a small Texas community (population, 180000; median family income,
$54000) just north of Dallas, has been shocked by the deaths of more than
12 adolescents from heroin overdoses in the past 18 months.1
In Fairfax County, Virginia (population, 900000; median household income,
$70000), drug-related arrests of adolescents have increased more than 10-fold
in 10 years.2 Across the country parents wonder,
"How could it happen to our children?" Lifetime prevalence
rates of adolescent drug use have been rising since 19923
(Figure 1), and the percentage of
teens saying they would never try illegal drugs is decreasing: 86% in 1995,
51% in 1996, and 46% in 1997.4,5
Bruner AB, Fishman M. Adolescents and Illicit Drug Use. JAMA. 1998;280(7):597-598. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.597