Teen Trends Regarding Alcohol and Drugs
The NIH (National Institute on Drug Abuse) recently published the results of its 2014 ‘Monitoring The Future‘ survey which examined teen attitudes and behavior in regard to alcohol and other drugs. The survey groups were students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. The study was facilitated by researchers at the University of Michigan.
Notable findings included a reduction, since 2013, in the use of prescription opioids, alcohol, and cigarettes among adolescents . Of concern, 6% of 12th graders report using marijuana on a daily basis. Of particular note, states that had adopted medical marijuana had a 14% higher rate of 12th graders who ingest edible marijuana than high school seniors in states where medical marijuana is still illegal. This lends support to the contention that increased availability of marijuana directly correlates with increased use of marijuana among teens. Safety advocates against the legalization of drugs have long expressed concerns that ready availability of drugs raises the risk of early onset drug abuse among youth.
NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. is quoted as saying “With the rates of many drugs decreasing, and the rates of marijuana use appearing to level off, it is possible that prevention efforts are having an effect.”
Prevention and Early Intervention Services are key to helping kids and teens in our community understand the multiple risks associated with teen alcohol and drug use. We at ADS believe that continued funding of nationwide prevention efforts is a valuable investment of time and dollars.
41,551 students from 377 public and private schools participated in the 2014 Monitoring The Future survey.