Study Shows Declines in Teen Meth, Marijuana Use

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Friday, February 27, 2009

Study Shows Declines in Teen Meth, Marijuana Use

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America announced the findings from the 2008 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, (PATS) showing remarkable, sustained declines in several drugs of abuse – notably methamphetamine (meth) and marijuana – over the past several years.

According to the study, teen meth use has experienced a steep three-year drop, with past-month use down to 3 percent of teens – a significant 25 percent decline versus 2005. Teen attitudes about meth use corroborate this drop – 83 percent of teens see great risk in using meth regularly, about 85 percent see great risk in “getting hooked on meth” and more than half of teens, (54 percent) see trying meth once or twice as very risky.

While marijuana remains the most widely used illegal drug among teens, PATS indicates marijuana use has been declining for a decade, with past-year use down 24 percent since 1998, and past-month use down a full 30 percent (from 23 percent of teens down to 16 percent) over the same time period. Teen attitudes also reflect growing social disapproval of the drug, with 35 percent of teens agreeing strongly they “don’t want to hang around with anyone who uses marijuana,” up from 28 percent a decade ago.

Source: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America