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Drug Use & Attitudes Among American 8th, 10th, and 12th Graders -Overview of Findings 201

This year’s Monitoring the Future Survey of drug use and attitudes among American 8th, 10th, and 12th graders continues to provide generally encouraging ne s, ith many forms of drug use holding steady at lo levels among the nation’s adolescents! ho ever, concerns persist over the softening of attitudes around some types of drug use, particularly decreases in perceived harm and disapproval of mari"uana use and perceived harm of non#medical use of prescription medications such as $icodin, %&y'ontin and Adderall(

!he Good "ews
#igarette smo$ing continues to dro% and is current&' at its &owest rate in the surve'(s histor'( %ne#year declines ere seen in lifetime and past#month use among 10th graders, and all prevalence periods have seen a continued trend of decreasing cigarette use( For e&ample, there ere significant )#year drops in lifetime, current *past#month+, and daily cigarette use among all grades( 'urrent use as reported ,y -(1. of 10 th graders, do n from 12(/. in 2008 and from 10(8. last year( 0ighth and 12 th graders also sa a drop from 2008 to 201/, from 1(8 to 2(). for 8 th graders and from 20(2. to 11(/. for 12th graders reporting past#month use( Although there ere no increases ,et een 2012 and 201/, it appears that mari"uana use continues to e&ceed cigarette use in these students( 3n 201/, 22(4. of high school seniors used mari"uana in the past /0 days compared ith 11(/. ho smo5ed cigarettes( 6i5e ise, )#year trends continue to sho significant decreases in a&coho& use among all grades and across nearly all prevalence periods( For e&ample, from 2008 to 201/, current use of alcohol declined from 1)(-. to 10(2. among 8th graders, from 28(8. to 2)(4. among 10th graders, and from 2/(1. to /-(2. among 12th graders( From 2012 to 201/, decreases ere o,served in ,inge use of alcohol *defined as five or more drin5s in a ro in the last 2 ee5s+ among 10 th graders, ith a )#year trend sho ing a significant decrease in all three grades( %verall, the use of most illicit drugs either remained steady or declined from 2012 to 201/( For instance, past#year use of s'nthetic mari)uana *also 5no n as 72 or 8Spice9+ among high school seniors sharply decreased, from 11(/. in 2012 to 4(-. in 201/( Another harmful synthetic drug, *ath sa&ts *synthetic stimulants+, as added to the survey last year! %erceived ris$ of harm of using ,ath salts increased su,stantially among 12 th graders, ith )-(). no saying they thin5 someone ho tries ,ath salts once or t ice

ris5s harming themselves *physically or in other ays+, as compared //(2. giving the same response the previous year(


This year’s survey continues to sho a long#term drop in past#year nonmedica& use of %rescri%tion medications+ :se of the pain reliever $icodin has decreased among all grades! among high school seniors, it dropped from 4(). in 2012 to )(/. in 201/( %&y'ontin, another pain reliever, also sho ed a long#term drop in use among 12 th graders, from 2(4. in 2008 to /(1. in 201/( 6astly, use of inha&ants is at its lo est levels in the history of the survey, among all grades and across nearly all prevalence periods( Among 8 th graders, for hom inhalant use has al ays ,een most prevalent, past#year use dropped to an all#time lo of )(2. in 201/(

Areas of #oncern
Five#year trends are sho ing significant increases in past#year and past# month *current+ mari)uana use across all three grades as ell as increases in lifetime and daily mari"uana use among 10 th graders( From 2008 to 201/, past#month use increased from )(8. to 4(0. among 8 th graders, 1/(8. to 18(0. among 10th graders, and from 1-(2. to 22(4. among 12 th graders( These increases continue to parallel softening attitudes a,out the %erceived ris$ of harm and disa%%rova& associated ith mari"uana use( Since 2010, the survey has captured the use of to,acco products other than cigarettes, such as use of hoo$ahs to smo5e to,acco, among high school seniors( ;ast#year hoo5ah use has increased among 12 th graders to 21(2.< the highest rate since 2010, hen the survey started capturing this type of to,acco use( !he increased a*use of %rescri%tion stimu&ants is a&so a cause for concern+ The percentage of 12th graders reporting past#year nonmedical use of amphetamines rose from 1(8. in 2008 to 8(4. in 201/( 'urrent use among 12th graders also increased from 2(-. in 2008 to 2(1. in 201/( #hanging attitudes to ard su,stance a,use often precede changes in reported use( Although use of $icodin has declined, so has perception of harm among teens( 3n 201/, perceived ris5 of harm of trying $icodin occasionally declined in 8th graders, from 2-(2. to 21(2. and 10 th graders, from 20(/. to /1. in 201/( This could indicate that use could ,egin to rise again in future years(