Youth Substance Use Declines
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month launched its 19th year with SAMHSA presenting new data that show a drop in illicit drug use among youth.
SAMHSA’s 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) findings showed that prescription drug misuse is still a concern. Data also show an increase in drug use among 50- to 59-year-olds.
SAMHSA’s Acting Administrator Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H., and the Director
of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., presented this and other data at the National Press Club event held in early September.
“The numbers support the fact that treatment and prevention programs are making marks in certain segments of the population,” Dr. Clark said.
Although the current illicit drug use rate among youth age 12 to 17 remained stable from 2005 to 2007, the rate significantly declined since 2002 among this age group, from 11.6 percent in 2002 to 9.5 percent in 2007.
CSAT Director Dr. H. Westley Clark (at podium) discusses new findings from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health at the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month briefing held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Acting SAMHSA Administrator Dr. Eric B. Broderick (left) and Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy John P. Walters (center) also presented findings. Photo by Paola Sanmartin
Youth drug use declined for nearly every type of drug, including marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, pain relievers, stimulants, and methamphetamine (see Drugs and Youth: Chart Shows 2002 to 2007 Data).
The level of alcohol use also dropped among 12- to 17-year-olds, from 17.6 percent in 2002 to 15.9 percent in 2007. “These new, recently declining rates in alcohol use among the youngest participants in the survey may be a leading indicator of an emerging pattern consistent with the goals of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking,” Dr. Broderick said.