URGENT: Encouragement and Prayer in a Time of Pandemic...See All of Our Coronavirus Resources Here

Teen Survey Shows Drops in Meth Use, Smoking

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teen Survey Shows Drops in Meth Use, Smoking

Methamphetamine use and smoking among U.S. teens has dropped significantly in recent years, but declines in marijuana use have stalled, according to the annual "Monitoring the Future" study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse released on Monday.

Only 1.2 percent of high school seniors say they used meth, as it is commonly called, in the past year, the survey found -- the lowest level since 1999 when use of the street drug was reported at 4.7 percent.

The proportion of 10th graders reporting meth was easy to obtain dropped to 14 percent, down from 19.5 percent five years ago, according to the survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th graders by researchers at the University of Michigan.

Cigarette smoking among teens also dropped to the lowest level since the survey began in 1975.

Only 2.7 percent of eighth graders smoke daily -- down from a peak rate of 10.4 percent in 1996 -- while 11.2 percent of high school seniors say they smoke daily, less than half of the 24.6 percent rate reported in 1997, the survey said.

It indicated marijuana use among teens has been on a downward trend since the mid-1990s, but the decline has stalled with use rates at the same levels as five years ago. schools in the eighth, 10th, and 12th grades were surveyed.

So far, we have not seen any dramatic rise in marijuana use, but the upward trending of the past two or three years stands in stark contrast to the steady decline that preceded it for nearly a decade," said University of Michigan researcher Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator.

"Not only is use rising, but a key belief about the degree of risk associated with marijuana use has been in decline among young people even longer, and the degree to which teens disapprove of use of the drug has recently begun to decline. Changes in these beliefs and attitudes are often very influential in driving changes in use."

Sources: ABC News and Healthcanal.com