|New Survey: Teen Use of Drugs|
By Ellen Kuwana |
Neuroscience for Kids Staff Writer
January 18, 2002
A national survey called Monitoring the Future has been
compiled annually for the past 27 years by the University of Michigan
Institute for Social Research with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. For the
2001 survey, more than 44,000 students in public and private schools were
interviewed about their drug use. The researchers are cautiously
optimistic about the results of the survey, emphasizing that education
about the effects of drugs is still important. Let's take a look at the
Alcohol UseThe survey also found that alcohol has remained the drug used most by teens. Researchers reported that 80% of 12th graders said that they had used alcohol at some time; 70% of 10th graders and 50% of 8th graders reported they had used alcohol. These numbers are approximately one percentage point lower than the previous year.
Other DrugsThe stimulant ecstasy, the drug of choice during "raves," has increased in popularity among teens each year since 1999. The survey reported ecstasy use at 5% of 8th graders, 8% of 10th graders and 12% of 12th graders which represents the first decrease in ecstasy use over the years. This small decrease may be because teens are becoming aware of the dangers associated with using ecstasy.
The use of the opiate drug heroin also decreased, most dramatically among students in grades 10 and 12. Less than two percent of students in all grades reported having used heroin at some time.
Use of inhalants decreased slightly among students in all age groups. Inhalants are used more often by younger students: 17% of 8th graders used inhalants at one time, compared to 15% of 10th graders and 13% of 12th graders. LSD and cocaine use have both decreased over the past year; marijuana use stayed at about the same level.
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