This is Your Teen on Drugs [infographic]
Good news: fewer teens are using drugs now than in the mid-1990s. In the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" survey, 17% of teens reported using drugs in the 30 days before the survey, as compared to 20.6% in 1996. Alcohol, cigarette and smokeless tobacco use are also down, while marijuana is on the rise.
(Check out this interactive infographic based on the report's findings from GOOD Magazine.)
More specifically, the survey found:
- Marijuana use among teens rose in 2011 for the fourth straight year—a sharp contrast to the considerable decline that had occurred in the preceding decade. Daily marijuana use is now at a 30-year peak level among high school seniors.
- “Synthetic marijuana,” which until earlier this year was legally sold and goes by such names as “K2” and “spice,” was added to the study’s coverage in 2011; one in every nine high school seniors (11.4%) reported using that drug in the prior 12 months.
- Alcohol use—and, importantly, occasions of heavy drinking—continued a long-term gradual decline among teens, reaching historically low levels in 2011.
- Energy drinks are being consumed by about one third of teens, with use highest among younger teens.
Liz Wu is a Digital Accounts Manager at Prichard Communications, where she oversees digital outreach for Reclaiming Futures and edits Reclaiming Futures Every Day. Before joining the Prichard team, Liz established the West Coast communications presence for the New America Foundation, where she managed all media relations, event planning and social media outreach for their 6 domestic policy programs. Liz received a B.A. in both Peace and Conflict Studies and German from the University of California at Berkeley. She tweets from @LizSF.