Substance use by young people can markedly affect the physical and psychosocial health of both the individual who is using drugs and the entire family. Recent studies continue to show an unacceptably high level of substance use in spite of the leveling off and slight overall down-turn in the frequency of substance use by high school seniors.1 The continuing trend toward an earlier age for first experience with drugs (including alcohol) is cause for alarm and concern; the current mean age for first experience is 12 years.2

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