Text Only | SAMHSA News Home

SAMHSA News - March/April 2008, Volume 16, Number 2


Teens and Drug Use  photo of teen faces

Stimulant Use and Delinquent Behavior

More than half a million adolescents age 12 to 17 used stimulants nonmedically in the past year, according to a new report from SAMHSA.

Across adolescent age groups, the rate of past-year nonmedical stimulant use increased from 0.7 percent among youth age 12 or 13 to 3.3 percent among those age 16 or 17.

The report, Nonmedical Stimulant Use, Other Drug Use, Delinquent Behaviors, and Depression among Adolescents, examines the nonmedical use of stimulants, like methylphenidate and methamphetamine, among youth age 12 to 17 and its association with other illicit drug use, delinquent activity, and major depressive episodes (MDEs).

Types of Behavior

In 2005 and 2006, an estimated annual average of 8.7 million youth age 12 to 17 (34.5 percent) engaged in at least one of six types of delinquent behaviors in the past year:

  • Got into a serious fight at school or work

  • Got into a group fight

  • Carried a handgun

  • Sold illegal drugs

  • Stole anything worth more than $50

  • Attacked someone with intent to cause serious injury.

Youth who used stimulants nonmedically in the past year were more likely to have participated in each of the six delinquent behaviors in the past year compared with other youth.

For example, more than twice the number of youth who used stimulants nonmedically in the past year got into a serious fight compared with youth who did not use stimulants nonmedically in the past year (47.2 versus 22.5 percent).

Back to Top

Other Findings

In 2005 and 2006, youth age 12 to 17 who used stimulants nonmedically in the past year were more likely to have used other illicit drugs—e.g., marijuana, pain relievers, and inhalants—in the past year compared with youth who did not use stimulants nonmedically in the past year (see chart).

An estimated 2.1 million (8.3 percent) youth experienced at least one MDE in the past year. Youth who used stimulants nonmedically in the past year were more likely to have experienced a past-year MDE than youth who did not use stimulants nonmedically in the past year (22.8 versus 8.1 percent).

All findings presented are annual averages based on combined 2005 and 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data.

The full report, Nonmedical Stimulant Use, Other Drug Use, Delinquent Behaviors, and Depression among Adolescents, is available for free download from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies Web site at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k8/stimulants/depression.pdfEnd of Article

Back to Top

Percentages of Youth Age 12 to 17 Using Illicit Drugs
in the Past Year, by Past-Year Nonmedical
Stimulant Use: 2005 and 2006

d

click to enlarge image

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies (February 28, 2008). The NSDUH Report: Nonmedical Stimulant Use, Other Drug Use, Delinquent Behaviors, and Depression among Adolescents.

Previous Article

Inhalants Used Most by Young Teens 

Next Article »

Back to Top


Inside This Issue
Screening Works: Update from the Field
About SBIRT
SBIRT Funding Opportunity
SBIRT Resources

Screening in Action
Alaska’s SBIRT Program
SBIRT on a College Campus
SBIRT Grantees List

Administrator’s Message


Funding Opportunities

President’s Budget Focuses on Priority Initiatives

Making Workplaces Drug-Free: Toolkit Available

Teens and Drug Use
Stimulant Use and Delinquent Behavior
Inhalants Used Most by Young Teens

State-by-State Report

Treatment Admissions Data Released

Rural Issues: The Substance Use Myth

Katrina, Rita: Hurricane Impact

Guest Speaker: Psychiatric Service Dogs Help

Community Prevention Day

About SAMHSA

SAMHSA News - March/April 2008, Volume 16, Number 2