HomeLatest NewsShocking Teen Drug Use Revelations Unveiled in New Report

Shocking Teen Drug Use Revelations Unveiled in New Report

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Data is now available, and they reveal some encouraging news regarding the rate of drug use among teens. Simply put, it’s on the decline.

This is a good development. However, there is more to do to protect minors against drug abuse.

New findings by the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that teens aren’t using drugs as much as they used to.

According to the Monitoring the Future annual survey, an important national survey of youth substance abuse, in 2023, only 46 percent of seniors will admit that they drank in the past year. This is a dramatic drop from the 88 percent who admitted drinking in 1979. The trend of cigarette smoking among 8th and 10th graders and those three age groups was also on the decline. In 2023, only 15 percent of seniors reported that they smoked cigarettes in their lives, down from the peak of 76 percent in 1977.

The use of illicit drugs by teens has been relatively stable over the last three decades. However, there were some noticeable declines during Covid-19.

In December, Dr. Nora Volkow (Director of NIDA) explained that “people don’t realize that the rate of drug abuse among teenagers is the lowest that we have ever seen.”

This paradigm shift is a result of several factors. Volkow stated that research has shown that delaying substance abuse among youth by even one year can reduce substance use throughout their lifetime.

There is more to do. The rate of fentanyl-related deaths among minors has increased sharply despite the decrease in teen drug usage. The figures show that this rate has more than doubled between 2019 and 2020. The numbers suggest that fewer teens are taking drugs but those who do are consuming more harmful substances, often without their consent.

The 2023 data continues to document stable or decreasing trends in the use of illicit drugs by young people for many years. However, it is important to note that other research reported a dramatic increase in overdose deaths for teens between 2010 and 2021. This trend continued well into 2022, according to a NIDA study of CDC data. This rise is largely due to the illicit fentanyl – a powerful synthetic drug contaminating counterfeit pills that look like prescription drugs. These data, taken together, suggest that drug use among youth is not increasing, but it is becoming increasingly dangerous.

This is a good sign. The fentanyl problem remains, however. Due to the current situation on the southern border, fentanyl is still being smuggled in and mixed with street drugs. It is possible to take measures to prevent the deaths of more teens from overdoses. As long as this substance is still being trafficked across the border, protecting children will be difficult.

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