Teen Drug Use Holds Steady in Y2K

Teen Drug Use Holds Steady in Y2K
Posted by FoM on December 14, 2000 at 08:36:37 PT
By Pete Yost, Associated Press Writer
Source: Star-Tribune
 Illicit drug use among teen-agers held steady in 2000 for the fourth straight year, and cigarette smoking declined significantly, the government reported Thursday. The annual Monitoring the Future survey, a benchmark for teen drug, alcohol and tobacco use, had mostly good news, with drops among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. But it also found use of the drug ecstasy, a favorite at dance clubs, increasing for the second year running. 
And the number of high school seniors using heroin hit its highest point since the survey began in 1975. The survey of 45, 000 students in 435 randomly chosen schools nationwide found that use of cocaine and hallucinogens such as LSD dropped, with marijuana use unchanged from 1999. The results were being released by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Barry McCaffrey, White House drug policy director. After increasing through the mid-1990s, teen drug use leveled off -- and in some cases, dropped -- in 1996. This year, usage was steady no matter how it was measured -- in the last month, year or ever. The survey, which teens fill out anonymously, found that between 1997 and 2000: For eighth-graders, use of any drug fell from 22.1 percent to 19.5 percent. For 10th-graders, it fell from 38.5 percent to 36.4 percent. For 12th-graders, it fell from 42.4 percent to 40.9 percent. The survey also looked at specific drugs and found that 36.5 percent of seniors had used marijuana in the past year. For 10th-graders, it was nearly as high -- 32.2 percent, and for eighth-graders, 15.6 percent. Those figures were all steady from 1999. Marijuana use peaked in 1979, when just over half of seniors used the substance. The low for marijuana use among 12th-graders was 1992, when just over one in five used it. Alcohol use remained widespread, though largely unchanged, with nearly three in four high school seniors drinking at least once in the past year. It was two in three for 10th-graders, and just over 40 percent for eighth- graders. A smaller but still significant chunk of teens reported binge drinking at least once in the two weeks before the survey. Thirty percent of 12th-graders, 26.2 percent of 10th-graders and 14.1 percent of eighth-graders said they had binged, defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row. Binge drinking peaked in 1981 at 41 percent and the low was 27.5 percent in 1993. With intense focus on smoking in the last few years, cigarette use dropped significantly. Last year, 34.6 percent of seniors reported smoking in the past month, falling to 31.4 percent this year. The percentage of eighth-graders who used cigarettes in the past month fell from 17.5 percent last year to 14.6 percent. There were a few danger signs, including an increase in the use of MDMA, known as ecstasy, among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. Just over 8 percent of seniors said they had used ecstasy in the past year, up from 5.6 percent in 1999. And among high school seniors, the percentage of seniors who used heroin crept up from 1.1 percent last year to 1.5 percent this year -- the first significant increase in a number of years. That' s the highest percentage since the study began. The survey also found: The percentage of high school seniors who used cocaine in the past year fell from 6.2 percent to 5 percent. Past year use of crack fell from 2.7 percent to 2.2 percent, Among seniors, past year use of hallucinogens dropped from 9.4 percent in 1999 to 8.1 percent this year. The study conducted by the University of Michigan' s Institute for Social Research and financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has tracked illicit drug use among 12th-graders since 1975. In 1991, eighth- and 10th-graders were added to the study. Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)Author: Pete Yost, Associated Press WriterPublished: Thursday, December 14, 2000 Copyright: 2000 Star TribuneAddress: 425 Portland Ave., Minneapolis MN 55488Fax: 612-673-4359Contact: opinion startribune.comWebsite: Articles:Marijuana Use by Teens Declines, Survey Finds Club Drugs, Pot on Rise State College Pot Smoking Tops U.S. Rate
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Comment #1 posted by ras james rsifwh on December 14, 2000 at 11:32:28 PT
Barry McCaffrey and vino
I-man saw barry on tv last night giving a speach. he said he thought it was ok for people to have a little veno with their pasta. since most teenage drug deaths are the result of alcohol...what kind of a statement is this from the man who cares so much about youth and drug use? barry, does this make you a hypocrite...think of all the teens who drink and drive and die, and/or kill. i, barry, am a drug warrior unless it's my favorite drug (alcohol)...damn the truth...150,000 deaths a year from alcohol...maybe barry if you keep saying MARIJUANA EVERY TENTH WORD...the people won't realize you're full of veno and pasta...hope fetal alcohol syndrome, alcoholism, and drunk driving are not in your red (bloody) pasta sauce. 
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