Teen Drug Use

In 1999, nearly half of all high school students had used marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug. More than 25 percent used it more than once in the last month.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, reports the use of the drug Ecstasy and steroids is on the rise. In 1999, the percentage of 12th graders who had used Ecstasy increased to eight percent, up from 5.8 percent. The percentage of 10th graders who had ever used anabolic-androgenic steroids increased from two percent in 1998 to 2.7 percent in 1999 and the percentage of eighth graders who had used them was up to 1.7 percent from 1.2 percent the year before. Inhalants are the next most widely used drug, followed by cocaine, LSD and heroin.

Alcohol and drug use is prevalent among teens, as these studies and figures point out. Any alcohol or other drug use can be a slippery slope, imperiling not only your health and safety but also the health and safety of others (visit the Substance Abuse topic at this Web site for risk factors associated with alcohol and drug use.) Recognizing this, it's important for teens to plan alternate social activities that do not involve drinking. More and more high schools and colleges are lending their support to these efforts by planning events that alleviate weekend boredom and give teens an alternative to traditional high-risk events, such as school-based post-prom parties.

For more information about teens and substance abuse, see the links on the next page.