Monday, December 14, 2009

More Teens Are Smoking Pot

12/14/09-TIME-"While use of drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine has declined among US teens, more adolescents are smoking marijuana, according to the results of an annual survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed some 47,000 eigth-graders, high school sophomores and high school seniors, and found that across all three groups, marijuana use was up. In the 2009 study, 11.8% of eighth-graders reported smoking pot, compared with 10.9% the year before, 26.7% of tenth-graders said they smoked pot, compared with 23.9% in 2008, and 32.8% of 12-graders, compared with 32.4% the previous year.

White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske attributes the uptick in mariujuana use to less education about the dangers of smoking pot, and said that the alarming trend underscores the need for parents and authorities to increase anti-drug efforts.

Even as kids are smoking more pot, they seem to be smoking slightly fewer cigarettes. According to the 2009 study results, 11.2% of high school seniors said they smoked cigarettes every day, down from 11.4% in 2008....Thirteen years ago, 49% of eighth graders said they'd tried smoking; this year, just 20% reported trying cigarettes.

Yet as teens' attitudes about cigarettes and marijuana have changed, so too has their access to, and abuse of, prescription drugs. Nearly 5% of 12th graders reported using OxyContin for non-medical reasons this year, a slightly higher proportion than last year, and nearly 10% of high school seniors reported using the painkiller Vicodin for non-medical reasons as well, a figure that is consistent with rates from 2008 and suggests that the problem continues, researchers say. Meanwhile, teen use of cocaine and methamphetamine had dropped somewhat: 3.4% of 12th graders reported using cocaine in 2009, down from 4.4 in 2008."
*quoted/summarized from TIME on line, article by Tiffany O'Callahan 12/14/2009

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