New in formation from the latest monitoring the future survey shows a drop in the number of US teens abusing alcohol, drugs and even cigarets.
The teens in the study drank less, smoked less and used fewer prescription and synthetic drugs. Even cannabis use has stabilized despite the fact that there are a growing number of American states where it is legal.
The study, which examined usage by 8th graders, 10th graders and 12th graders also found that those who chose to use cannabis were more likely to eat it rather than smoke it This is good news as smoking anything can have negative health effects.
This drop in drug usage is part of a 20 year trend in the US. Teens seem to be less likely to abuse any substances "The main highlight is that for most indicators the news is very good," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow . A research psychiatrist and scientist, Volkow said she is encouraged by this significant decline, particularly in synthetic drugs and prescription drugs, which had been a growing problem for teens. She doesn't, however, think parents and teachers should be complacent. "We need to continue to be very aggressive as far as interventions and to continue to curb abuse."
Several studies show that the only increase in drug usage was from e-cigarets. This numbers are not as concerning because e-cigarets are still a new product and as such, there is not a great deal of historical data about usage.
Volkow said the decrease in drug usage is most likely due to increased drug education, more awareness of drug abuse in the healthcare system and, to a lesser extent, drug buyback programs. If the usage among teens continues to fall, it could be a sign for other countries with drug problems to adopt the US model of drug education.