• Cigarette and Alcohol Use drops among teens but Marijuana and Prescription Drugs Abuse are still at High

    According to the latest annual survey by Monitoring the Future (MTF) the number of teenagers abusing cigarette and alcohol has relatively drop on its lowest point this year. However, the constant high rate of teens abusing marijuana and other prescription drugs had been appalling.

    The survey was conducted among the 10th and 12th graders of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with the funding support by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. According to the survey which was done in classrooms, there was a historic drop of cigarette use among 12th-graders; from the highest rate of 36.5 percent in 1997 to 18.7 percent reported cigarette use in the past month. On the other hand, only 6.1 percent of 8th-graders admitted smoking cigarettes which is the lowest record since the highest rate of 21 percent in 1996 and 8.7 in 2006.

    The significant drop of cigarette use among teenagers was good news, but authorities were not satisfied with the result. The steady increase of marijuana use and other drugs, especially Ks2 and spice as well as the constant abuse on prescription drugs like Vicodin and Aderall has encouraged authorities to improve efforts on dealing with the prevalence of drug abuse.

    According to the survey, from 31.5 percent of 12th– graders who admitted marijuana use in the past years, the rate rose to 34 percent as of 2011; 6.6 of which admitted daily use which is an increase from the 5 percent record in 2006. Abuse of Vicodin was also found at 8.1 percent among 12th– graders, similar to the rate back in 2010. Although there was a decline among the 10th graders from 7.7 percent in 2010 to 5.9 in 2011, there was no reported decline for the use of Oxycontin. Furthermore, recreational use of ADHD prescription drugs known as Aderall and Ritalin among 12th-graders was shown to be at 6.5 and 2.6 percent.

    This instance has brought up a great concern to Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the national Institute on Drug Abuse saying that there should be a greater effort to maintain drug prevention efforts among teens with special focus on tobacco and prescription drugs.

    Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy, also acknowledged the indispensable role of parents in teaching their kids about the adverse effects of K2 and spice. These two drugs are actually forms of synthetic cannabis which mimics the effect of a real marijuana smoke but can be very dangerous when abused daily.

    synthetic drug banner

    Meanwhile, NIDA is launching an updated prescription drug section namely “PEERx” in their official website so that teens can view interactive videos and articles which are made to influence the youth’s decision making on drug and substance abuse. Teens, on the other hand, are free to provide feedback through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or email. This is also one of NIDAS’ great efforts to educate and interact to a wider variety of people about the dangers of drug abuse.

    MTF is one of the three major surveys conducted to assess the rate of drug abuse among teens. The survey was also sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which is one source of statistical data on teen drug abuse. NIDA, on the other hand, supports various researches that mainly focus on drug abuse among teenagers especially those who are at 8th to 12th grade.

    http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr121411.html

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    Categories: School & Teenage Drug Testing

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