Monitoring the Future of Drug Use:Survey of Students and Young Adults: Crime Statistics
February 8, 2010 by
Monitoring the Future: A Mix of Good News, Troubling Trends–Results of the 2009–Monitoring the Future (MTF) study: Show decreases among some grades in the use of cocaine, methamphetamine, and hallucinogens. The MTF data also document the disturbing prevalence of abuse among teens of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. They show, for example, that seven of the ten substances most abused by high school seniors are legal drugs used non-medically. There have also been erosions in young people’s perceptions of the harms associated with smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, and using smokeless tobacco. Past studies have found that such “softening” of teens’ perceptions of the harms caused by drugs has signaled future rises in rates of drug use. Some statistically significant trends and other use levels are troubling: · About one in ten 12th graders reported abusing Vicodin in the past year, closely followed by abuse of six other pharmaceutical drugs. Approximately 1 in 20 12th graders reported past-year use of amphetamines, tranquilizers, over-the-counter cough or cold medicines, Adderall, sedatives, and OxyContin. · Among 10th graders, lifetime use of heroin increased from 2008. · Disapproval lessened among 10th graders toward those who smoked marijuana occasionally and those who smoked marijuana regularly. · Among 8th graders, those who perceived “great risk” of harm associated with smoking marijuana occasionally or regularly declined. Statistically significant decreases in the use of various substances from 2008 to 2009 include: · Hallucinogens overall – Past-year and past-month use among 12th graders declined. · LSD – Among hallucinogens, past-month LSD use decreased among 12th graders. · Hallucinogens other than LSD – Past-year use of other hallucinogens (excluding PCP and Ecstasy) was down among 12th graders. · Cocaine – Lifetime, past-year, and past-month use among 12th graders decreased . · Heroin smoking/inhalation – Among 8th graders, past-year use of heroin by smoking or inhalation fell. · Methamphetamine – Lifetime use among 8th graders declined. · Ritalin – Past-year use among 12th graders declined. · Alcohol – Lifetime and daily use of any alcohol among 8th graders declined. The Monitoring the Future (MTF) study examines the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation. Monitoring the Future is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The study is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. See: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/update/update-jan2010.pdf.