Drug Abuse Statistics – Trends in the New Generation

Monitoring the drug abuse statistics in our youth is a great indicator of the future of the next generations. Organizations such as Monitoring The Future (MTF) have been conducting research since the mid 1970s on the use of drugs amongst 12th grade students and their perception of drugs and its use. The University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research conducts the studies.

The study is longitudinal and follows the patterns and changes in attitudes of the students over time. In 1991, the studies included 8th and 10th graders too.

The latest drug abuse statistics conducted by MTF were taken in 2008. The key findings showed a decrease in the abuse pattern for a majority of the drugs compared to the previous year.

There were a few positive results that were highlighted. In 2008, the number of 10th graders that have used any illicit drugs in their lifetime had significantly declined in comparison to 2007.

The percentage of youngsters in this age group that smoke cigarettes have continued to decline over the years, and has fallen to the lowest rate in the history of the survey. This is a promising finding, as the use of tobacco is one of the major concerns in health problems.

The use of any stimulant such as amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine is in continuing decline. The use of crack cocaine amongst 12th graders declined from 2008 to 2007.

Overall, the use of alcohol has also decreased amongst all the mentioned age groups in the last year. The 10the graders display a significant decline in the usage of alcohol.

However, there are also areas of concern that have been highlighted by the drug abuse statistics. Even though the use of marijuana has declined over the years, it appears to have reached a plateau with as much as 32.4 per cent of 12th graders using it regularly. The statistics for the use of prescriptive drugs without a medical prescription is also cause for concern with 15.4 per cent of 12th graders having done so in the past year. The perception of risk of harm associated with the use of LSD is also in continual decline. Next: Follow the links below to read more on the topics of drug addiction and abuse.

Washington State Drug Abuse Statistics

Washington Drug Addiction

In 2007, approximately 38,000 people entered some form of substance abuse treatment in Washington State. Approximately 32,000 people of the people admitted were admitted for some sort of drug abuse. Many drugs have a significant presence in Washington state. Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana have long been major drugs, and all three of these have a strong presence in Washington. Meth is the relative newcomer, growing rapidly since it first began getting popular in the 1980s and 1990s. This article will not cover marijuana as it tends to be a much different issue than more destructive addictions such as heroin, cocaine, and meth addiction.

Heroin Addiction in Washington

Heroin abuse is a problem in Washington, but perhaps not as big a one as other parts of the nation. 2,495 people were admitted for heroin use in the state of Washington, making up ~6.5% of people admitted for substance abuse well below the national average of 13.6%. Heroin abuse is not concentrated in one particular area of Washington and is abused throughout the state.

Cocaine Addiction in Washington

2,163 people (5.7% of those admitted ) were admitted for smoking crack and another 763 (3.6%) went into treatment for snorting cocaine. Compared with the national averages of 9.4% and 3.7% this puts Washington’s cocaine abuse below the national average. However, cocaine is still available throughout Washington and is usually smuggled into Washington from Mexico, through California. Within Washington, crack cocaine is most commonly used in lower income urban areas while snorted cocaine is consumed by a more middle-class demographics.

Meth Addiction in Washington

In the state of Washington, meth / methamphetamine use is well above national averages. 6,378 people (16.7%) were admitted into facilities for amphetamine abuse, over twice the national average of 7.7%. Amphetamine abuse is still not as common in Washington as neighboring Oregon or California, but it is a relatively large problem within the state. Interestingly, since 2003 meth lab incidents in Washington have declined from 1,018 in 2003 to 122 in 2007. This indicates law enforcement’s crackdown on domestic meth labs. As local meth labs have been shut down, most of the drugs have been supplied by meth traffickers from Mexico. Meth also tends to be less of an urban drug, with most of the meth userbase located outside of major cities.

Drug Abuse Statistics in Austin

Austin Drug Abuse
Travis County, home to the city of Austin, experienced over 2,500 people being admitted for substance abuse treatment in 2002. Of those admitted, the nearly half were admitted for alcohol abuse, and the other half was admitted for other types of drugs. For every drug except those classified as “downers” and “other opiates” males dominated the population. Interestingly enough, more than 75% of patients were not married and had were not employed.

Substance-Related Arrests
While most of the residents in Austin do not abuse drugs, there are still a large number of people who do abuse them, as shown above. However, the statistics above only include those admitted for treatment and does not fully paint the picture of drug abuse in Austin. Taking a look at the number of substance-related arrests, for example, one can see another side of the drug world. In 2004, there were 3,681 drug possession arrests and 412 drug trafficking arrests. This includes all illegal hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and club drugs (ecstasy).

Heroin Abuse
Unfortunately, heroin is common on the streets on Austin. In 2002, for instance, the number of people admitted for marijuana abuse was only 2/3 that of the number of people admitted for heroin. The May 2007 edition of the Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy stated about heroin:

In Austin, shooting galleries in the Montopolis area are reported to have disappeared as long-term users have either died, are in prison or have moved out of the area to avoid harassment from the police. Despite this, heroin is plentiful in the Montopolis area and three to four balloons of good quality heroin sell for $25 or less. Additional intelligence indicates that both black tar and Mexican brown heroin sell for $1,400­ $1,600/ounce in Austin.

While heroin is mostly injected into the body through needles, in the past year there has been an increase in the amount of heroin that is being snorted in powder form. The younger demographic is the cause of the snorting because they think they will not become addicted, but this a false belief and they eventually end up abusing the drug.