America is one step closer to winning the war on teen drug and alcohol use! According to the results of a study conducted by the University of Michigan and the National Institutes of Health released this week, fewer American teenagers are using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol.
"Clearly our public health prevention efforts, as well as policy changes to reduce availability, are working to reduce teen drug use, especially among eighth graders," Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the NIH, told NBC News.
The survey of 45,473 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade at 372 public and private schools found 48% of 12th graders admit to having used a drug illegally in the past year, compared to 49% in 2015 and 54% in 2000.
The study also found that about 23% of eighth graders and 61% of seniors said they'd had at least one drink, which is way down from 70% of eighth graders and 88% of seniors in 1991. That’s huge!
Kids are also much less likely to smoke. In 1991, 10.7% of high school seniors said they smoked a half pack or more a day. Twenty-five years later, that rate has dropped to only 1.8%, which the NIDA says is a “reflection of the success of widespread public health anti-smoking campaigns and policy changes." (The rise of e-cigarettes may be playing a role here as well.)
Whatever it is they’re doing, we’re glad it’s working!