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.