Youth Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from many walks of life at any stage of life. Both illnesses are common and often serious, but treatable.

Many individuals use alcohol or take medications as prescribed. But a fraction of those individuals will develop a substance use disorder (SUD), also commonly called addiction.

SUD is considered a brain disease because substance use changes how the brain functions in some individuals. SUDs typically develop over time and with continued substance us, the brain is impaired in areas regarding reward, stress, decision-making, memory, and impulse control.

As mentioned, mental health and substance use disorders are both treatable. With the adequate amount of time and recovery support plans, brain scans have shown impaired parts of the brain can get better.

Morrow County agencies work together with different programs regarding prevention, treatment and recovery to provide services for all stages of mental health and substance use disorders. The Drug & Alcohol Awareness and Prevention (DAAP) of Morrow County is a coalition with a mission to bring drug and alcohol awareness to the community through educational programs, speakers, and organized events. DAAP collaborates with other individuals in the community to reduce the misuse/abuse of medication and underage drinking in Morrow County through programs such as Parents Who Host, Lose the Most, Hidden in Plain Sight, and The Medication Project.

Recovery and Prevention Resources provides a 10-week evidence/research based substance abuse program to K-9 grade students.

Syntero provides intervention and prevention services in Morrow County Schools. 

Please see the Additional Resources section below for more information on local agencies working with treatment, recovery, and prevention.  

Youth Alcohol Use

Recent studies show that the most commonly used drug by youth in the U.S. is alcohol. Unfortunately, using alcohol as a youth can have a large impact on their lives. Issues include: problems in school, issues with growth and development, a higher risk for physical or sexual assault, a higher risk of suicide and homicide, and unintentional injuries. For additional information about this topic, click here.

Youth Tobacco Use

According to the CDC (2019), the current smoking rates in youth will lead to the early deaths from a smoking-related illness in more than 5 million people currently under age 18. As many as 98% of people first try smoking by the time they are 26 years old, and those who begin at an early age can be more likely to continue smoking into adulthood. There are certain factors that are associated with tobacco use in youth including: social and physical environments, genetics, mental health, and personal views. For more information about youth tobacco use, click here

The charts below describe tobacco use in the youth of Morrow County. 

Treatment and Recovery

When individuals with Substance Use Disorder seeks treatment, it is soon discovered the “one-size-fits-all” option does not apply. Treatment is different for everyone and will vary depending on the types of substances used, other health conditions, and severity of their illness. Treatment includes a wide variety of evidence-based approaches which include: Hospital/Residential Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Outpatient Programs, Detoxification, Opioid Treatment Programs, Office-Based Opioid Treatment, Individual Counseling.

After an individual’s treatment period, he or she often begin a journey of Recovery. Such as treatment, there are many paths to recovery with finding the right fit for each person. Recovery is a process of change for an individual to improve their health and reach their full potential. 

About the Data

• Data was accessed from the 2016 Morrow County Community Health Assessment (CHA)

Additional Resources

CDC: Alcohol Use and Health

CDC: Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Ohio

CDC: Teen Substance Use & Risks

Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery services Board 


Addiction Policy Forum 

Recovery and Prevention Resources 


National Alliance on Mental Illness 

Celebrate Recovery 

Safe Harbor Peer Support Services 

Southeast Healthcare Services 

Morrow Family Health Center 

Morrow County Hospital 

• Drug & Alcohol Awareness & Prevention (DAAP) of Morrow County: @DAAPofMorrowCounty on Facebook