Teen drug use down, except for marijuana, according to new survey

Teen drug use down, except for marijuana, according to new survey
Posted at 10:41 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 00:41:07-05

DENVER -- Teenagers today are less likely to do drugs than ever before, except for marijuana, according to a new national survey released this week. 

The numbers from this year's Monitoring the Future survey found fewer teens were using any illicit drugs other than marijuana in the past year than ever before since the 1991. 

The survey, which has been conducted since 1975, measures substance use among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. 

While heroin, meth, cocaine, ecstasy and other illicit drug use was down, researchers from cautioned that marijuana use still remains high for 12th-graders. 

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told CNN those numbers are troubling, as she explained that regular use of marijuana is often linked with kids dropping out of school.

Fewer teens are also drinking less alcohol, the survey found. 

Binge drinking has fallen by half or more at each grade level since peak rates were reached at the end of the 1990s, the survey noted.

Tobacco use is also down, the survey shows. 

What about marijuana use?

The survey showed that more than 22 percent of high school seniors reported pot use within the last month. Six percent reported consuming it daily. 

"Daily use of any substance, including marijuana, places individuals at high risk for addiction," Samuel Ball, president and CEO of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse told CNN. "And this risk is significantly higher for teen users than adult users."

Higher rates of pot use among 12th-graders could be seen in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without them, the survey showed.

About 45,000 students in some 380 public and private secondary schools have been survived each year since it began in 1975. The survey is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 


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