For Teens

The earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction.

Use of addictive substances-tobacco/nicotine, alcohol and other drugs-during adolescence interferes with brain development, reduces academic performance and increases the risk of:

  • Accidents
  • Addiction
  • Homicides
  • Serious health conditions
  • Suicides


Teens and young adults are more inclined than adults to take risks, including smoking, drinking or using other drugs. Use of any addictive substance while the brain is still developing increases the chances of future use of that and other addictive substances.


  • Nine out of ten people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18
  • People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older
  • Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decreases

Join Reality and Make a Difference

The DuPage County Reality chapter is made up of high school students from across several schools, who work together with the community to make a lasting impact on the lives of youth. This is done through education and promotion of policy changes that reduce youth substance and tobacco use, and increase mental wellness. View the Reality page to learn more.

Crisis Text LineCollaborative Youth Team

Text ’Reach’ to 741-741 for a free, confidential service brought to you by Naperville’s Collaborative Youth Team where teens can talk to crisis counselors. Learn more about the Crisis Text Line.