The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently published its National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The data shows that 36 million Americans, age 12 and up, have abused prescription drugs at least once in life. At least 6.9 million first-time improper uses are made by those between the age of 18 to 25. Teens age 12 to 17 have the second-highest abuse rate at 2.7 million.
Getting arrested is a frightening experience for anyone, but particularly for teenagers and young adults. It is common for parents whose children face legal issues to want to protect them from the consequences of a mistake. Teenagers are often driven to make questionable decisions as a result of their frontal lobe still developing and social pressure from their peers.
When defendants are facing charges, those who work in the legal system often advise them of the immediate penalties that they face. These include fines, prison time, restitution and supervised release. They don't tell them about all the "collateral consequences" associated with being convicted of a crime.