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Friday, December 30, 2016

Fewer Teens Doing Drugs

Here’s some upbeat news: Fewer teens are using illegal drugs than ever before and fewer are falling prey to the epidemic of opioid abuse, according to the findings from a new survey by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Even marijuana use is at an all-time low among eighth to 10th graders, though it’s steady among high school seniors, according to the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, an annual study of behaviors and choices among teens in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades.

Other research, however, shows that marijuana use is increasing among 18- to 24–year-olds, however, which is alarming since their brain development isn’t yet complete, NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow told USA Today.

Many teens have even sustained from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, said Volkow. E-cigarettes are still a public health threat among adolescents, however.

Other highlights of this year’s survey included:
  • Use of illicit drugs other than marijuana is at its lowest level in the history of the survey for all three grades. For example, 14 percent of 12th graders said they used an illicit drug, compared to 18 percent in 2013.
  • Teen use of prescription painkillers is trending downward among 12th graders, with a 45 percent drop in past year use compared to five years ago. 
  • Only 5 percent of high school seniors said they smoke cigarettes every day, compared to 22 percent two decades ago. 
  • About 56 percent of 12th graders drank alcohol in the past year, compared to a peak of about 75 percent in 1997.
  • The percentage of eighth graders who reported using marijuana in the past month fell from 6.5% in 2015 to 5.4% this year. Among high school seniors, 22.5% used the drug within the past month and 6% used it daily, essentially unchanged from last year.
"It is encouraging to see more young people making healthy choices not to use illicit substances," said National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli. "We must continue to do all we can to support young people through evidence-based prevention efforts as well as treatment for those who may develop substance use disorders. And now that Congress has acted on the President's request to provide $1 billion in new funding for prevention and treatment, we will have significant new resources to do this."

Getting Help for a Loved One
One of the most important decisions you can make is to support your son or daughter in seeking treatment for addiction. For information about Hope Academy's young adult substance abuse treatment program, or to begin the admissions process for a loved one, call 866-930-4673.

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