Illicit Drug Use by Teens Down in 2006
December 22, 2006 -- The percentage of U.S. adolescents who use illicit drugs or drink alcohol dropped in 2006, according to a government survey of more than 50,000 students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grade at more than 400 schools nationwide. However, abuse of prescription drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, remains high.
About a fifth of eighth-graders, more than a third of 10th-graders, and about half of all 12th-graders reported taking an illicit drug in their lifetime. About 6 percent of eighth-graders, 19 percent of 10th-graders, and 30 percent of 12th-graders said they had been drunk at least one in the prior month. While the 2006 rates have not declined significantly since last year, they are part of a larger, downward trend since the mid-1990s. Marijuana is by far the most widely used illicit drug.
A number of National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reports deal with adolescent behavior. Reducing Underage Drinking offers a comprehensive strategy to curb alcohol consumption among America's youth. Adolescent Risk and Vulnerability looks at how to quantify risks and vulnerability in adolescents and direct research goals toward solving real problems. A Study of Interactions: Emerging Issues in the Science of Adolescence -- Workshop Summary examines current research on adolescence and discusses how to translate findings into policy and practice. Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative recommends establishing a national network of laboratories capable of conducting large-scale population studies to integrate research, improve monitoring, and explore effective interventions. Community Programs to Promote Youth Development offers recommendations for policy, practice, and research to ensure that community youth programs are well designed to meet young people's developmental needs.
In addition, Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions outlines a comprehensive strategy for government officials, clinicians, health care organization, health plans, and purchasers to improve the quality of health care for people with alcohol or drug problems or mental conditions.