Monitoring the Future Survey
Teen Drug Use Data Released

January 23, 2001

Monitoring The Future is an annual, national survey that tracks illegal drug use by students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades. The survey is conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and sponsored by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The survey tracks illegal drug use of students in the eighth, tenth and twelve grades. The survey results for the year 2000 were published on December 14, 2000, and they point to both good news and bad news. Overall illegal drug use remained unchanged in 2000 compared with that in 1999. The use of some drugs decreased in 2000 compared with that in 1999. However, the use of other drugs, such as Ecstasy (MDMA), showed a sharp increase.

Findings from the Monitoring the Future Survey (2000)

Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco

  • The percentage of 8th graders who smoked cigarettes within a month of the survey decreased from 17.5% in 1999 to 14.6% in 2000. For 12th graders, the percentage decreased from 34.6% to 31.4%.
  • More 8th graders knew about the health risks of smoking: 54.8% in 1999 to 58.8% in 2000. For 10th graders, these numbers increased from 62.7% in 1999 to 65.9% in 2000.
  • The overall rate of smokeless tobacco use remained unchanged from 1999 to 2000.

December 14, 2000: US Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, accompanied by the National Drug Control Policy Director Barry R. McCraffrey, announcing the findings of the 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey. (Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)


  • 15.6% of the 8th graders, 32.2% of the 10th graders and 36.5% of the 12th graders reported using marijuana in 2000. These numbers are only slightly different from 1999 when 16.5% of the 8th graders, 32.1% of the 10th graders and 37.8% of the 12th graders reported using marijuana.
  • 29% of the 8th graders in 2000 believed that trying marijuana once or twice carried a big risk of harming oneself.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

  • The use of ecstasy by 8th graders almost doubled: 1.7% of students in 8th grade reported using ecstasy in 1999; 3.1% of them reported using this drug in 2000.
  • Ecstasy use by 10th and 12th graders was also higher in 2000 compared with 1999. In 1999, 4.4% of the 10th graders and 5.6% of the 12th graders reported using ecstasy. In 2000, 5.4% of the 10th graders and 8.2% of the 12th graders reported using ecstasy.


  • Fewer 12th graders reported using cocaine in 2000: 5.0% in 2000 compared with 6.2% in 1999.
  • Crack use by 12th graders also declined from 2.7% in 1999 to 2.2% in 2000.


  • Heroin use by 12th graders increased in 2000. Heroin was used by 1.1% of seniors in 1999 and by 1.5% of them in 2000. This is the highest reported use of heroin since the survey began in 1975.
  • Heroin use by 8th graders fell from 1.4% in 1999 to 1.1% in 2000.


  • Inhalants were used more often by 8th graders than by either 10th or 12th graders. 9.4% of the 8th graders, 7.3% of the 10th graders and 5.9% of the 12th graders reported using inhalants during 2000.


  • The use of hallucinogens by 12th graders declined from 9.4% in 1999 to 8.1% in 2000.
  • The use of hallucinogens by 8th and 10th graders remained steady from 1999 to 2000.


  • 43.1% of 8th graders, 65.3% of 10th graders and 73.2% of 12th graders reported using alcohol in 2000.
  • Daily use of alcohol by 8th graders declined from 1% in 1999 to 0.8% in 2000.

References and further information:

  1. Monitoring the Future Survey - Complete survey results, tables and figures
  2. Effects of Drugs on the Nervous System - from Neuroscience for Kids

GO TO: Neuroscience In The News Explore the Nervous System Table of Contents

Send E-mail

Fill out survey

Get Newsletter

Search Pages