Teen drugs of choice

Pills are more popular than pot, and meth and booze use are trending down among teens, according to a study released Monday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. The study was done by the University of Michigan for NIDA.  Among the specific findings:

• The number of high school seniors reporting they used methamphetamine in the past year is now at only 1.2 percent – the lowest since questions about methamphetamine were added to the survey in 1999, when it was reported at 4.7 percent.
• Cigarette smoking was at the lowest point in the survey’s history on all measures for eighth, 10th and 12th graders…. However, one area of concern is the rate of smokeless tobacco use.
• Alcohol use … has decreased in the past five years across all three grades.
• Past year use of cocaine decreased to 3.4 percent from 4.4 percent in 2008 among 12th graders, and past year use of hallucinogens also fell among high school seniors to 4.7 percent, down from last year’s 5.9 percent rate and significantly lower than its 2001 peak of 9.1 percent.
• The 2009 MTF survey indicates a continuing high rate of non-medical use of prescription drugs and cough syrup among teens [including Vicodin and Oxycontin]. … the vast majority – 66 percent – said they got the drugs from a friend or relative.
• For the first time this year the survey measured the non-medical use of Adderall, a stimulant commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. The survey reported that more than 5 percent of 10th and 12th graders reported non-medical use of the drug in the past year.• Marijuana use across the three grades has shown a consistent downward trend since the mid-1990s, however, the decline has stalled, with rates at the same level as five years ago.

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