Teenagers are more likely to smoke weed and cigarettes and drink alcohol for the first time in June and July, according to a new federal study. Around 5,000 teens aged 13-17 start lighting up cigarettes and 4,500 try pot each day for the first time during those months, as opposed to 3,000 to 4,000 a day during the rest of the year. And over 11,000 teens take their first sip of what we can only conjecture is Smirnoff Ice in June and July (with similar levels in December, because apparently even kids can't resist holiday party pressure), way more than the 5,000 to 8,000 teens who drink for the first time during other months.
Some questions: What happens in August? Is everyone too hungover? How difficult is it to glean legitimate statistics from (possibly drunk/stoned) teenagers? Do you think the findings have anything to do with the high levels of summer-conducive Sublime they're listening to? (Or maybe teenagers don't listen to Sublime anymore — so, I don't know, Party in the USA?)
"More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in a press release. "That is why it is critically important to take every opportunity we can throughout the year to talk to our young people about the real risks of substance abuse and effective measures for avoiding it, so they will be informed and capable of making the right decisions on their own."
Addiction research and policy expert Deni Carise gave CBS a few ideas for parents and communities that might help kids abstain, like make sure teens are keeping busy, so they're not hanging around the house all day slowly filling up all of the vodka bottles in the bar with water. She also thinks cops should be harsher on underage tobacco and alcohol sales and that anti-drug media campaigns specifically targeting teens who haven't tried drugs before should increase in June and July.