Marijuana use is at a new level of low in the American history. That is the main conclusion a 2016 study arrived. The research was conducted by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The survey focused on the link between teens and illegal drug consumption. While there is an ongoing opioid epidemic affecting American adults, the teens are proving to stay away from this unhealthy trend.
Dr. Nora Volkow who is the NIDA Director also mentioned that youngsters are consuming less alcohol and tobacco than ever before. The survey covered teens in eight, 10th and 12th grades and it is repeated each year to take the pulse of this green community. This year, the findings are extremely hopeful for the future of the country.
In 2016, only 14% of 12th-grade students admitted their marijuana use, unlike back in 2013 when the percent of teens hit 18%. Also, the same 12th graders are using 45% fewer painkiller prescriptions than they used to five years ago. On the same note, 3% of teens took Vicodin in 2016, in comparison with 10% who misused such an opioid pain reliever ten years ago.
As for tobacco habit, the numbers are also satisfactory. There are only 5% of high school students who smoke on a daily basis, compared to 22% that abused tobacco twenty years ago. In 1996, 18% of 10th graders used to smoke, but in 2016 this rate dropped to 2%.
Regarding alcohol, in 1997, a serious rate of 75% of high school students developed the unhealthy habit of consuming it. Now, the rate has slowly decreased to 56% of senior students.
However, marijuana use was the main concern of the study as the country has recently experienced massive efforts of legalizing this drug. Only 5% of eight graders are using this drug now, compared with the case in 2015 when they were in the proportion of 6.5%. However, there is no good news regarding older students. The same number as last year continues to admit to marijuana use. Thus, 22.5% of senior students have used pot in the last month, whereas 6% of them are using it every day.
Authorities expected the numbers to soar given that marijuana became a legal drug. Consequently, the situation is within steady limits, but it fails to be encouraging for teens. The CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Marcia Lee Taylor sees the 6% of students that use pot daily as far from being normal. They will continue to keep an eye on marijuana use and focus their efforts on terminating this habit.
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