Study: Teen drug use declining

Filed under: Teens, Alcohol & Drugs

I recently watched a documentary on the history of drugs. It seems that human beings have been getting high forever and the only thing that really changes is the drug of choice. And while the good news is that a new study by University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research shows that teen drug use is declining overall, the bad news is that the abuse of some prescription drugs is on the rise.

In looking at the behavior of 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th graders nationwide, researchers discovered that the percentage of those who reported using an illicit drug at least once in the 12 months prior to the survey dropped for all grades. Most notable were the numbers for 8th graders - down nearly half from 24% in 1996 to 13% in the new study.

But while the study found the use of drugs such as marijuana and various stimulants has dropped, the numbers indicate no such decrease in the abuse of most prescription psychotherapeutic drugs. These drugs include sedatives, tranquilizers and narcotic drugs other than heroin. And the use of Ecstasy, which had shown a decline in in the early 2000's, is back on the rise.

"These prevalence rates are not very high yet, but there is evidence here of this drug beginning to make a comeback," says researcher Lloyd Johnston. "Young people are coming to see its use as less dangerous than did their predecessors as recently as 2004, and that is a warning signal that the increase in use may continue."

Detailed information about this study can be found here.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.