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  1. Basoodler
    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is releasing its revised 2012 survey, "Monitoring the Future," which questioned 46,733 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades about their drug use.

    For the first time, the survey will also include "bath salts," a type of designer drug with amphetamine-like effects.

    Nora Volkow, NIDA Director, leads today's press conference.

    Other speakers include: Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; R. Gil Kerlikowske Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy; Lloyd D. Johnston, Principal Investigator, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; and Chris Leibowitz, young adult in recovery from drug addiction.


    Washington, DC
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/Survey-of-Teen-Drug-Use-Released/10737436717/

Comments

  1. Basoodler
    Re: Survey of Teen Drug Use Released (attaching results)

    NIDA’s 2012 Monitoring the Future survey shows rates stable or down for most drugs

    December 19, 2012

    Continued high use of marijuana by the nation's eighth, 10th and 12th graders combined with a drop in perceptions of its potential harms was revealed in this year's Monitoring the Future survey, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th–graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey was carried out in classrooms around the country earlier this year, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

    The 2012 survey shows that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily, up from 5.1 percent five years ago. Nearly 23 percent say they smoked it in the month prior to the survey, and just over 36 percent say they smoked within the previous year. For 10th graders, 3.5 percent said they use marijuana daily, with 17 percent reporting past month use and 28 percent reporting use in the past year. The use escalates after eighth grade, when only 1.1 percent reported daily use, and 6.5 percent reported past month use. More than 11 percent of eighth graders said they used marijuana in the past year.

    The Monitoring the Future survey also showed that teens' perception of marijuana's harmfulness is down, which can signal future increases in use. Only 41.7 percent of eighth graders see occasional use of marijuana as harmful; 66.9 percent see regular use as harmful. Both rates are at the lowest since the survey began tracking risk perception for this age group in 1991. As teens get older, their perception of risk diminishes. Only 20.6 percent of 12th graders see occasional use as harmful (the lowest since 1983), and 44.1 percent see regular use as harmful, the lowest since 1979.

    A 38–year NIH–funded study, published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38—an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. Those who used marijuana heavily before age 18 (when the brain is still developing) showed impaired mental abilities even after they quit taking the drug. These findings are consistent with other studies showing a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment.

    "We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood."

    Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of well–being and life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.

    "We should also point out that marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug," said Volkow. "The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers."

    Use of other illicit drugs among teens continued a steady modest decline. For example, past year illicit drug use (excluding marijuana) was at its lowest level for all three grades at 5.5 percent for eighth graders, 10.8 percent for 10th graders, and 17 percent for 12th graders. Among the most promising trends, the past year use of Ecstasy among seniors was at 3.8 percent, down from 5.3 percent last year.

    "Each new generation of young people deserves the chance to achieve its full potential, unencumbered by the obstacles placed in the way by drug use," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "These long–term declines in youth drug use in America are proof that positive social change is possible. But now more than ever we need parents and other adult influencers to step up and have direct conversations with young people about the importance of making healthy decisions. Their futures depend on it."

    The survey also looks at abuse of drugs that are easily available to teens because they are generally legal, sometimes for adults only (tobacco and alcohol), for other purposes (over–the–counter or prescribed medications; inhalants), or because they are new drugs that have not yet been banned. Most of the top drugs or drug classes abused by 12th graders are legally accessible, and therefore easily available to teens.

    For the first time, the survey this year measured teen use of the much publicized emerging family of drugs known as "bath salts," containing an amphetamine–like stimulant that is often sold in drug paraphernalia stores. The data showed a relative low use among 12th graders at 1.3 percent. In addition, the survey measured use of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia, finding that past year use dropped among 10th and 12th graders, down to 4.4 percent for 12th graders from last year's 5.9 percent.

    Abuse of synthetic marijuana (also known as K–2 or Spice) stayed stable in 2012 at just over 11 percent for past year use among 12th graders. While many of the ingredients in Spice have been banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, manufacturers attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures. Another drug type - inhalants - continues a downward trend. As one of the drugs most commonly used by younger students, the survey showed a past year use rate of 6.2 percent among eighth graders, a significant drop in the last five years when the 2007 survey showed a rate of 8.3 percent.

    The data shows a mixed report regarding prescription drug abuse. Twelfth graders reported non–medical use of the opioid painkiller Vicodin at a past year rate of 7.5 percent. Since the survey started measuring its use in 2002, rates hovered near 10 percent until 2010, when the survey started reporting a modest decline. However, past year abuse of the stimulant Adderall, often prescribed to treat ADHD, has increased over the past few years to 7.6 percent among high school seniors, up from 5.4 percent in 2009. Accompanying this increased use is a decrease in the perceived harm associated with using the drug, which dropped nearly 6 percent in the past year—only 35 percent of 12th graders believe that using Adderall occasionally is risky. The survey continues to show that most teens who abused prescription medications were getting them from family members and friends.

    The survey also measured abuse of over–the–counter cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan-5.6 percent of high school seniors abused them in the past year, a rate that has held relatively steady over the past five years.

    The 2012 results also showed a continued steady decline in alcohol use, with reported use at its lowest since the survey began measuring rates. More than 29 percent of eighth graders said they have used alcohol in their lifetime, down from 33.1 percent last year, and significantly lower that peak rate of 55.8 percent in 1994. For 10th graders, 54 percent of teens reported lifetime use of alcohol, down from its peak of 72 percent in 1997. Binge drinking rates (five or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks) have been slowly declining for eighth graders, at 5.1 percent, down from 6.4 percent in 2011, and 13.3 percent at their peak in 1996.

    Cigarette smoking continues at its lowest levels among eighth, 10th and 12th graders, with dramatic long–term improvement. Significant declines were seen in lifetime use among eighth graders, down to 15.5 percent from last year's 18.4 percent, compared to nearly 50 percent at its peak in 1996. Significant declines were also seen in 10th grade lifetime use of cigarettes, down to 27.7 percent from 30.4 percent in 2011. Peak rates for 10th graders were seen in 1996 at 61.2 percent. For some indicators, including past month use in all three grades, cigarette smoking remains lower than marijuana use, a phenomenon that began a few years ago.

    The survey also measures several other kinds of tobacco delivery products. For example, past year use of small cigars was reported at nearly 20 percent for 12th graders, with an 18.3 percent rate for hookah water pipes.

    "We are very encouraged by the marked declines in tobacco use among youth. However, the documented use of non–cigarette tobacco products continues to be a concern," said Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Preventing addiction includes helping kids be tobacco free so they can enjoy a fighting chance for health."

    Overall, 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated in this year's Monitoring the Future survey. Since 1975, the survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th–graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Survey participants generally report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Questions are also asked about daily cigarette and marijuana use. NIDA has provided funding for the survey since its inception by a team of investigators at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, led by Dr. Lloyd Johnston. Additional information on the MTF Survey, as well as comments from Dr. Volkow, can be found at (.gov link)


    PDF attached
  2. Basoodler
    Re: Survey of Teen Drug Use Released (attaching results)

    EDITORS:

    Results of this year’s Monitoring the Future survey are being released at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Eastern Time by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which sponsors the study, and the University of Michigan, which designed and conducted the study. Participating will be the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Howard Koh; the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), R. Gil Kerlikowske; the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora Volkow; and the study’s principal investigator, Professor Lloyd Johnston. For further information, contact Johnston at (omitted)

    The rise in teen marijuana use stalls, synthetic marijuana use levels, and use of “bath salts” is very low

    ANN ARBOR--- National samples of 45,000 to 50,000 students in three grades (8, 10, and 12) have been surveyed every year since 1991 as part of the nationwide Monitoring the Future study. Among the most important findings from this year’s survey of U.S. secondary school students are the following:

    Marijuana. After four straight years of increasing use among teens, annual marijuana use showed no further increase in any of the three grades surveyed in 2012. The 2012 annual prevalence rates (i.e., percent using in the prior 12 months) were 11%, 28%, and 36% for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, respectively. (Among the 8th graders there was a modest decline across the past two years—from 13.7% in 2010 to 11.4% in 2012—that reached statistical significance.)

    “Whether this is more than a pause in the ongoing increase that we have seen in teen marijuana use in recent years is unclear at this point,” said Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator. “One important variable that has been a lead indicator of use—namely the amount of risk teenagers perceived to be associated with marijuana use—continued its sharp decline in 2012 among teens, which would suggest further increases in use in the future.” Reported availability of marijuana had been falling for some years, but it leveled out about four or five years ago.
  3. Basoodler
    Re: Survey of Teen Drug Use Released (attaching results)


    • Figure 1 - Marijuana: Trends in Annual Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 2 - Marijuana: Trends in Daily Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 3 - Synthetic Marijuana: Trends in Annual Use and Risk in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 4 - Alcohol: Trends in in 30 Day Use, Risk, Dissaproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 5 - Alcohol: Trends in Binge Drinking, Risk, Dissaproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 6 - Any Illicit Drug: Trends in Annual Use in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 7 - Any Illicit Drug other than Marijuana: Trends in Annual Prevalence in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 8 - Any Prescription Drug: Trends in Annual Use in Grade 12
    • Figure 9 - Ecstasty (MDMA): Trends in Annual Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 10 - Vicodin: Trends in Annual Use and Risk in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 11 - Sedatives (Barbiturates): Trends in Annual Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 12 - Tranquilizers: Trends in Annual Use and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 13 - Narcotics other than Heroin: Trends in Annual Use and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Figure 14 - Amphetamines: Trends in Annual Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12
  4. Basoodler
    Re: Survey of Teen Drug Use Released (attaching results)

    [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica]Trends in Lifetime Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Helvetica]Trends in Use of

    Various Drugs - Tables 1–4
    [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica]Table 1 -Marijuana: Trends in Annual Use, Risk, Disapproval, and Availability in Grades 8, 10, and 12[/FONT]
    • Table 2 - Trends in Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Table 3 - Trends in 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Marijuana, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Prescription Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Table 4 - Trends in 30-Day Prevalence of Daily Use of Various Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12
    • Footnotes for Tables 1–4
    • Source of Prescription Drugs - Table 5
    • Table 5 - Source of Prescription Drugs among Those Who Used in Last Year, Grade 12, 2007–2012
    Trends in Attitudes - Tables 6–11
    • Table 6 - Trends in Harmfulness of Drugs as Perceived by 8th Graders
    • Table 7 - Trends in Harmfulness of Drugs as Perceived by 10th Graders
    • Table 8 - Trends in Harmfulness of Drugs as Perceived by 12th Graders
    • Table 9 - Trends in Disapproval of Drug Use in Grade 8
    • Table 10 - Trends in Disapproval of Drug Use in Grade 10
    • Table 11 - Trends in Disapproval of Drug Use in Grade 12
    Trends in Availability - Tables 12–14
    • Table 12 - Trends in Availability of Drugs as Perceived by 8th Graders
    • Table 13 - Trends in Availability of Drugs as Perceived by 10th Graders

    • Table 14 - Trends in Availability of Drugs as Perceived by 12th Graders
    Long-Term Trends in Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs for 12th Graders - Tables 15–18
    • Table 15 - Long-Term Trends in Lifetime Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grade 12
    • Table 16 - Long-Term Trends in Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grade 12
    • Table 17 - Long-Term Trends in 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grade 12
    • Table 18 - Long-Term Trends in 30-Day Prevalence of Daily Use of Various Drugs in Grade 12
    • Footnotes for Tables 15–18
  5. Basoodler
    Re: Survey of Teen Drug Use Released (attaching results)

    Revised December 2012
    This year’s Monitoring the Future Survey is encouraging with declining drug use among high school teens; however, concerns remain about the persistent high rates of marijuana and nonmedical prescription drug use.


    The Good News

    View attachment 30469


    • Cigarette smoking continues to fall to the lowest rate in the survey’s history. One-year declines were seen in lifetime use among 8th and 10th graders and all prevalence periods have seen a continued and longer term trend of decreasing cigarette use. For example, five-year trends showed significant drops among all grades. Current use was reported by 4.9% of 8th graders, down from 7.1% in 2007 and from 6.1% last year. Tenth and 12th graders also saw a drop from 2007 to 2012 with 10.8% of 10th graders and 17.1% of 12th graders reporting past month use.



    • Likewise, five-year trends showed significant decreases in alcohol use among all grades and across nearly all prevalence periods. For example, from 2007 to 2012, current use of alcohol declined from 15.9% to 11.0% among 8th graders, from 33.4% to 27.6% among 10th graders and from 44.4% to 41.5% among high school seniors. From 2011 to 2012, decreases were observed in lifetime, past year, current and binge use of alcohol among 8th graders.


    • The use of Ecstasy showed a significant drop in past year use from 2011 to 2012, reported by 1.1% of 8th graders, 3% of 10th graders, and 3.8% of 12th graders.


    • Overall, the use of most illicit drugs has either declined or remained steady from 2011 to 2012. For example, use of inhalants is at its lowest levels in the history of the survey across all grades and prevalence periods. Among 8th graders for whom inhalant use is most prevalent, current use has decreased to 2.7%. Also among 8th graders, declines were reported for current use of amphetamines, cocaine and hallucinogens. Past year use of Salvia decreased from 3.9% to 2.5% among 10th graders and from 5.9% to 4.4% among 12th graders.

    Areas of Concern



    View attachment 30470


    • Five-year trends are showing significant increases in past month (current) marijuana use among 10th and 12th graders and an increase in daily marijuana use across all three grades. From 2007 to 2012, past month use increased from 14.2% to 17.0% among 10th graders and from 18.8% to 22.9% among 12th graders. Among high school seniors it was at its highest point since the late 1990’s. Additionally, these increases continue to parallel softening attitudes for the last several years about the perceived risk of harm associated with marijuana use.


    • This year’s survey captured the use of synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or “Spice”, among 8th and 10th graders for the first time. Past year use was reported by 4.4% of 8th graders and by 8.8% of 10th graders. About 1 in 9, or 11.3% of high school seniors reported use of synthetic marijuana–unchanged from 2011. Also new in the survey this year was the past year use of bath salts reported by 0.8% of 8th graders, 0.6% of 10th graders, and 1.3% of 12th graders.

    • Many of the drugs used by 12th graders are prescription or over-the-counter medications. Although this year’s survey showed a long term drop in past year nonmedical use of Vicodin among all grades, its use remains at unacceptably high levels (e.g., at 7.5% among high school seniors).


    • The abuse of prescription stimulants is also a cause for concern. In the past several years the percent of 12th graders reporting the nonmedical use of Adderall has increased from 5.4% in 2009 to 7.6% in 2012. As in nearly all cases, attitudes toward substance abuse are often seen as harbingers of change in reported use. In 2012 nearly 6% fewer high school seniors reported that trying Adderall occasionally was harmful–an indication that use may continue to rise.

    • The survey continues to show that most teens obtain prescription drugs like amphetamines, tranquilizers, or narcotics other than heroin, for free from friends and family; roughly 68% of 12th graders, for example, report getting prescription pain relievers this way.
    This page was last updated December 2012


    (thats all of it)
  6. Basoodler
    Percentage of U.S. twelfth grade students reporting past month use of cigarettes and marijuana, 1975 to 2012


    [​IMG]

  7. Basoodler
    Marijuana Use Holds Steady Among U.S. Teens

    Posted on: 7:50 am, December 20, 2012, by Staff Writer

    (CNN) — Marijuana use is holding steady among eighth, 10th- and 12th-graders in the United States and tobacco smoking rates remain low.

    Those are some of the results published in the annual Monitoring the Future study, a survey of more than 45,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 395 public and private schools. It was released Wednesday.

    Each year, the survey gathers information from teens about their use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, as well as asking them questions regarding their attitudes about the drugs.

    This year, 6.5% of 12th-graders said they smoke marijuana daily. That’s slightly down from 2011, when 6.6% said they smoked it daily.

    Teens’ perception about the harmfulness of using marijuana was down, which may signal future increases in marijuana use, according to the study’s principal investigator, Lloyd Johnston.

    Overall, 41.7% of eighth-graders perceive occasional marijuana use as harmful and 66.9% see regular use as harmful. As teens get older, their perception of harm decreases, the survey showed, with only 20.6% of 12th-graders seeing regular use as harmful.

    Marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. “The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers.”

    New this year were questions about “bath salts,” products that contain designer drugs with stimulant effects. Very few students reported having used bath salts in the previous twelve months: 0.8%, 0.6%, and 1.3% for grades eight, 10, and 12, respectively.

    The use of synthetic marijuana products remained stable, with 11.3% of 12th-graders reporting having used them. Other than alcohol and tobacco, this is the second most widely used drug among 10th- and 12th-graders after marijuana. The products are generally sold on the Internet or over the counter, with names such as K-2 and spice. They are produced by spraying herbs or plant materials with the chemical elements found in marijuana.

    Use of other illicit drugs showed no significant change between 2011 and 2012. Those drugs include cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, amphetamines, sedatives, tranquilizers or narcotics taken without medical supervision. Only salvia, ecstacy and using heroin without a needle showed significant declines.

    Adderall is one drug that showed some sign of increasing, but only among 12th graders, and not very significantly. Its use increased 1.1% from 2011 to 2012.

    Alcohol use, which declined in 2011, showed an increase among 12th-graders. Twenty-four percent of high school seniors reported binge drinking two weeks prior to the survey, an increase of 2%.

    “The nation’s teenage drug problems are far from disappearing,” concluded Johnston. He noted that new drugs are appearing on the horizon, products that include synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”

    According to Johnson “synthetic drugs like these are particularly dangerous, because they have unknown, untested, and ever-changing ingredients that can be unusually powerful, leading to severe consequences. Users really don’t know what they are getting, and as the thousands of calls to the nations’s poison control centers relating to these drugs indicate, they may be in for a very unpleasant surprise.”

    The Monitoring the Future survey was sponsored by NIDA and the University of Michigan, which designed and conducted the study.

    http://fox2now.com/2012/12/20/marijuana-use-holds-steady-among-u-s-teens/

  8. Basoodler
    NIDA's 2012 Monitoring the Future survey shows rates stable or down for most drugs

    Continued high use of marijuana by the nation's eighth, 10th and 12th graders combined with a drop in perceptions of its potential harms was revealed in this year's Monitoring the Future survey, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th-graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey was carried out in classrooms around the country earlier this year, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

    The 2012 survey shows that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily, up from 5.1 percent five years ago. Nearly 23 percent say they smoked it in the month prior to the survey, and just over 36 percent say they smoked within the previous year. For 10th graders, 3.5 percent said they use marijuana daily, with 17 percent reporting past month use and 28 percent reporting use in the past year. The use escalates after eighth grade, when only 1.1 percent reported daily use, and 6.5 percent reported past month use. More than 11 percent of eighth graders said they used marijuana in the past year.

    The Monitoring the Future survey also showed that teens' perception of marijuana's harmfulness is down, which can signal future increases in use. Only 41.7 percent of eighth graders see occasional use of marijuana as harmful; 66.9 percent see regular use as harmful. Both rates are at the lowest since the survey began tracking risk perception for this age group in 1991. As teens get older, their perception of risk diminishes. Only 20.6 percent of 12th graders see occasional use as harmful (the lowest since 1983), and 44.1 percent see regular use as harmful, the lowest since 1979.

    A 38-year NIH-funded study, published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that people who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38-an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. Those who used marijuana heavily before age 18 (when the brain is still developing) showed impaired mental abilities even after they quit taking the drug. These findings are consistent with other studies showing a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment.

    "We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood."

    Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of well-being and life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.

    "We should also point out that marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug," said Volkow. "The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers."

    Use of other illicit drugs among teens continued a steady modest decline. For example, past year illicit drug use (excluding marijuana) was at its lowest level for all three grades at 5.5 percent for eighth graders, 10.8 percent for 10th graders, and 17 percent for 12th graders. Among the most promising trends, the past year use of Ecstasy among seniors was at 3.8 percent, down from 5.3 percent last year.

    "Each new generation of young people deserves the chance to achieve its full potential, unencumbered by the obstacles placed in the way by drug use," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "These long-term declines in youth drug use in America are proof that positive social change is possible. But now more than ever we need parents and other adult influencers to step up and have direct conversations with young people about the importance of making healthy decisions. Their futures depend on it."

    The survey also looks at abuse of drugs that are easily available to teens because they are generally legal, sometimes for adults only (tobacco and alcohol), for other purposes (over-the-counter or prescribed medications; inhalants), or because they are new drugs that have not yet been banned. Most of the top drugs or drug classes abused by 12th graders are legally accessible, and therefore easily available to teens.

    For the first time, the survey this year measured teen use of the much publicized emerging family of drugs known as "bath salts," containing an amphetamine-like stimulant that is often sold in drug paraphernalia stores. The data showed a relative low use among 12th graders at 1.3 percent. In addition, the survey measured use of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia, finding that past year use dropped among 10th and 12th graders, down to 4.4 percent for 12th graders from last year's 5.9 percent.

    Abuse of synthetic marijuana (also known as K-2 or Spice) stayed stable in 2012 at just over 11 percent for past year use among 12th graders. While many of the ingredients in Spice have been banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, manufacturers attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures. Another drug type - inhalants - continues a downward trend. As one of the drugs most commonly used by younger students, the survey showed a past year use rate of 6.2 percent among eighth graders, a significant drop in the last five years when the 2007 survey showed a rate of 8.3 percent.

    The data shows a mixed report regarding prescription drug abuse. Twelfth graders reported non-medical use of the opioid painkiller Vicodin at a past year rate of 7.5 percent. Since the survey started measuring its use in 2002, rates hovered near 10 percent until 2010, when the survey started reporting a modest decline. However, past year abuse of the stimulant Adderall, often prescribed to treat ADHD, has increased over the past few years to 7.6 percent among high school seniors, up from 5.4 percent in 2009. Accompanying this increased use is a decrease in the perceived harm associated with using the drug, which dropped nearly 6 percent in the past year-only 35 percent of 12th graders believe that using Adderall occasionally is risky. The survey continues to show that most teens who abused prescription medications were getting them from family members and friends.

    The survey also measured abuse of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan─5.6 percent of high school seniors abused them in the past year, a rate that has held relatively steady over the past five years.

    The 2012 results also showed a continued steady decline in alcohol use, with reported use at its lowest since the survey began measuring rates. More than 29 percent of eighth graders said they have used alcohol in their lifetime, down from 33.1 percent last year, and significantly lower that peak rate of 55.8 percent in 1994. For 10th graders, 54 percent of teens reported lifetime use of alcohol, down from its peak of 72 percent in 1997. Binge drinking rates (five or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks) have been slowly declining for eighth graders, at 5.1 percent, down from 6.4 percent in 2011, and 13.3 percent at their peak in 1996.

    Cigarette smoking continues at its lowest levels among eighth, 10th and 12th graders, with dramatic long-term improvement. Significant declines were seen in lifetime use among eighth graders, down to 15.5 percent from last year's 18.4 percent, compared to nearly 50 percent at its peak in 1996. Significant declines were also seen in 10th grade lifetime use of cigarettes, down to 27.7 percent from 30.4 percent in 2011. Peak rates for 10th graders were seen in 1996 at 61.2 percent. For some indicators, including past month use in all three grades, cigarette smoking remains lower than marijuana use, a phenomenon that began a few years ago.

    The survey also measures several other kinds of tobacco delivery products. For example, past year use of small cigars was reported at nearly 20 percent for 12th graders, with an 18.3 percent rate for hookah water pipes.

    "We are very encouraged by the marked declines in tobacco use among youth. However, the documented use of non-cigarette tobacco products continues to be a concern," said Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Preventing addiction includes helping kids be tobacco free so they can enjoy a fighting chance for health."

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20...tes-stable-or-down-for-most-drugs.aspx?page=2
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