Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Pot and prescription drugs popular among teens

Posted: 10:54 a.m. Dec. 14, 2009

U-M study: Pot, prescription drugs more popular among teens

Numbers drop on binge-drinking and smoking

Associated Pres

Smoking marijuana is becoming even more popular among U.S. teens and they have cut down on smoking cigarettes, binge drinking and using methamphetamine, according to a national survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders released today by White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske.

More teens also are getting high on prescription pain pills and attention-deficit drugs, according to the 35th annual “Monitoring the Future” survey of 47,097 students by the University of Michigan for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The increase of teens smoking pot is partly because the national debate over medical use of marijuana can make the drug’s use seem safer to teenagers, researchers said. In addition to marijuana, fewer teens also view prescription drugs and Ecstasy as dangerous, which often means more could use those drugs in the future, Kerlikowske said.

The “continued erosion in youth attitudes and behavior toward substance abuse should give pause to all parents and policy-makers,” Kerlikowske said.

“These latest data confirm that we must redouble our efforts to implement a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to preventing and treating drug use,” Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in remarks prepared for his speech today at the National Press Club in Washington.

Marijuana use, while well off peak levels of the late 1990s, has edged up. Among this year’s 12th graders, 20.6% said they used it within the past month, compared with 19.4% in 2008 and 18.3% in 2006.

Among 10th graders, pot use in the past month rose from 13.8% in 2008 to 15.9% this year.

“The upward trending of the past two or three years stands in stark contrast to the steady decline that preceded it for nearly a decade,” said Lloyd Johnston, who has directed the annual survey since it started in 1975.

The percentage of eighth-graders who saw a “great risk” in occasionally smoking marijuana fell from 50.5% in 2004 to 48.1% in 2008 and 44.8% this year.

The perceived danger of using Ecstasy once or twice fell among eighth graders, from 42.5% in 2004 to 26% in 2009.

“When the perception of the danger goes down, in the following years you see an increase in use,” said National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow.

Volkow said teens falsely reason it’s less dangerous to get high on prescription drugs “because they’re endorsed by the medical community.” But she said prescription narcotics like OxyContin and Vicodin are highly addictive and can act as gateways to heroin, a cheaper high.

Use rates of both prescription narcotics rose among this year’s 10th graders, with 8.1% saying they had used Vicodin in the past year compared with 6.7% of the same grade in 2008. For OxyContin, the figure rose from 3.6% to 5.1%.

Recreational use of the attention-deficit drug Ritalin was lower than five years ago. But the attention-deficit drug Adderall, appearing for this first time in this year’s survey, showed use rates similar to those for Ritalin at its peak, which for 12th graders was around 5%.

By all measures, alcohol remained the most widely used illicit substance among teens, with 43.5% of 12th graders reporting taking a drink in the past month. That’s a little change from last year, but down from 52.7% in 1997 — a year that showed high percentages of substance abuse. All three grades reported drops in binge drinking for 2004-2009.

Cigarette use patterns showed a continuation of the dramatic drop from a decade ago. In 1997, 19.4% of eighth graders reported smoking within a month. That fell to 6.8% last year and 6.5% this year. The rate for 12th graders dropped from 36.5% in 1997 to 20.1% this year.

“There’s not going to be much further improvement unless policies change,” such as higher taxes to discourage kids on a budget and further limits on public smoking, Johnston said.

Only 2.4% of this year’s 12th graders said they’d ever used methamphetamine, down from 2.8% in 2008 and 8.2% in 1999.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe