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Drug Use: High School and Youth Trends

2001 Monitoring the Future Study (MTF)

The MTF survey is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and is funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. Since 1975, the survey has tracked 12th graders' illicit drug use and related attitudes; in 1991, 8th and 10th graders were added to the study. For the 2001 study, 44,346 students were surveyed from a representative sample of 424 public and private schools nationwide.

  • The 2001 MTF marks the fifth year in a row that illicit drug use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders remained stable or decreased in some cases.
  • Since the 2000 MTF, notable decreases in cigarette smoking were observed for 8th and 10th graders in 2001.
  • The rise in use of MDMA (ecstasy) in teenagers seen over the past 2 to 3 years slowed from 2000 to 2001 among students in all three grades.
  • The rates of heroin use decreased notably among 10th and 12th graders.
  • A gradual decline in use of inhalants continued in 2001 with a significant decrease occurring among 12th graders.

For more details, please see: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Special K: A Club Drug

Ketamine is an animal tranquilizer, but did you know that it is also being used as a club drug?

Special K is a disassociative drug, meaning that the user loses the normal sense of connection between body and mind. It comes in tablet, powder, or liquid form. It's actually similar in appearance to cocaine and methamphetamine and is sometimes mistaken for those drugs. In powder form, it's sometimes sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked. It also can be injected, but the tranquilizing effects of the drug are so powerful that users sometimes lose control of their bodies before they finish the injection. Large doses can lead to convulsions, brain damage, heart attack, stroke, coma, and even death.

More about Special K can be found on TheAnti-Drug.com, a substance abuse education site for parents and teens.

Source: The Anti-Drug.com

Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors 2000
For the complete WSSAHB report, please download the PDF version. This document is rather large and may take some time to completely download.

The 2000 Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors (WSSAHB) is a statewide survey assessing the health-related attitudes and behaviors of Washington’s public school students.

As in all of the previous state surveys, alcohol was reportedly the substance of choice, followed by cigarettes and marijuana. Alcohol use in the past 30 days was reported by 6.6 percent of Grade 6 students, 22.8 percent of Grade 8 students, 37.6 percent of Grade 10 students, and 46.8 percent of Grade 12 students. After an essentially steady increase from 1992 to 1998, binge drinking decreased among students in Grades 6, 8, and 10 and leveled off among Grade 12 students. The rates of binge drinking, however, remained high: 4.7 percent of Grade 6 students, 14.9 percent of Grade 8 students, 23.2 percent of Grade 10 students, and 31.8 percent of Grade 12 students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.

Marijuana use in the past 30 days decreased from 1998 to 2000 from 16.5 to 12.0 percent among Grade 8 students, from 26.6 to 21.9 percent among Grade 10 students, and from 28.7 to 24.4 percent among Grade 12 students. These declines represent a substantial decrease in the number of marijuana users.

The 2000 survey was the first administration that asked students about the use of party drugs (e.g., ecstasy). Almost none of the Grade 6 students (0.9 percent) had ever tried party drugs. This percentage increased among older students: 4.8 percent of Grade 8 students, 9.3 percent of Grade 10 students, and 13.5 percent of Grade 12 students had tried party drugs at some time in their lives.

The average ages of the first use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana were virtually identical to those reported in 1998, indicating that the average age of first use has not changed over the past two years. Among Grade 12 students who had ever used the substance, the average age of first use was 13.9 years for alcohol, 13.0 years for cigarettes, and 14.3 years for marijuana.


For a wealth of drug-related facts, see the Child Trends Data Bank

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