Text Only | SAMHSA News Home

SAMHSA News - January/February 2005, Volume 13, Number 1

Teen Drug Use Continues Decline

Results from the annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey indicate an almost 7-percent decline of any illicit drug use in the past month by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined from 2003 to 2004. Trend analysis from 2001 to 2004 revealed a 17-percent cumulative decline in drug use and an 18-percent cumulative drop in marijuana past-month use.

"The new Monitoring the Future survey results are a clear indication that our efforts in substance abuse prevention are paying off. The Nation has surpassed the 2-year goal set by President Bush's National Drug Control Strategy," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "And we are well on our way to addressing the 5-year goal." The President set a national goal of reducing youth drug use by 10 percent within 2 years. The 5-year goal sets the mark for a 25-percent reduction in current use of illegal drugs by this age group.

The MTF survey is designed to measure drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students nationwide. In 2004, 49,474 students from 406 public and private schools participated in the survey, which is overseen by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the University of Michigan. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month.

Just as drug use among teens is dropping, more teens are refraining from cigarette smoking as well. In 2004, lifetime cigarette smoking decreased in 10th graders, following declines in lifetime use in all grades from 2002 to 2003. The survey results also showed evidence of a decrease in heavier smoking among 10th graders, with a significant decline in the smoking of a pack of cigarettes or more per day.

Back to Top

Inhalants and Painkillers Still Pose a Threat

Survey results show that lifetime inhalant use for 8th graders increased significantly. Inhalants are easily accessible in the form of household and office products. Commonly abused inhalants include glue, shoe polish, and gasoline.

"We are concerned about the increasing number of 8th graders using inhalants," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "Research has found that even a single session of repeated inhalant abuse can disrupt heart rhythms and cause death from cardiac arrest or lower oxygen levels enough to cause suffocation. Regular abuse of these substances can result in serious harm to vital organs including the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver," Dr. Volkow said.

Painkillers, including Vicodin and OxyContin, are of concern, too. While the rates of Vicodin abuse did not change significantly from 2003 to 2004, Vicodin was used by 9.3 percent of 12th graders, 6.2 percent of 10th graders, and 2.5 percent of 8th graders in the past year. OxyContin was used in the past year by 5 percent of 12th graders, 3.5 percent of 10th graders, and 1.7 percent of 8th graders in 2004. These rates were not significantly different from the rates in 2003; however, with all three grades combined, the survey shows a significant increase in past-year OxyContin use between 2002 and 2004.

For further information about the 2004 MTF survey, visit www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/MTF.htmlEnd of Article

« See Also—Previous Article

See Also—Next Article »

Back to Top

skip navigation
Inside This Issue

Conference Explores High-Tech Treatments
Part 1
Part 2
Related Content:
From the Administrator: High-Tech Options Expand Horizons
E-Glossary and Resources

A Decade of Progress: Dare To Act Affirms Vision

In Brief…
SAMHSA Grants: $20.6 Million for Prevention to HIV/AIDS
McGovern Award for Leadership in Drug Abuse Prevention
Training Manual Released
Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Across Borders: Rebuilding Iraq
Related Content:
Assistance to Iraq

Retailers Cut Cigarette Sales to Youth
Related Content:
Retailer Violation Rates for 2003

Financing Health Care: Understanding Medicaid
Related Content:
Medicaid-Related Resources

Teen Drug Use Continues Decline

SAMHSA "Short Reports" on Statistics


SAMHSA News - January/February 2005, Volume 13, Number 1

SAMHSA Contracts | SAMHSA's Budget | Employment | Site Map
 SAMHSA Home  Contact the Staff  Accessibility  Privacy Policy  Freedom of Information Act
 Disclaimer  Department of Health and Human Services  The White House  First Gov