Teen drug use takes a step in the wrong direction (infographic)

drugsFor more findings from the 2013 Monitoring the Future survey, view the kids and alcohol and kids and smoking infographics.
The number of 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders who reported using any illicit drug in the past 30 days was higher in 2013 than it’s been since 2002, according to findings from the 2013 Monitoring the Future survey.

The trend was fueled, in part, by increases in marijuana use. In 2013, 15.6 percent of all kids surveyed said they’d used marijuana in the past 30 days. That’s up from 15.1 percent in 2012.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given their increased use of the drug, fewer kids view regular marijuana use as a health concern. In 2013, just 39.5 percent of 12th-graders said they thought regular marijuana use was harmful—down from 44.1 percent in 2012. The number of 8th- and 10th-graders who viewed regular use as harmful dropped as well.

The survey’s findings are somewhat better for other drugs. For example, the number of kids who reported using inhalants in the past year declined between 2012 and 2013. And use of cocaine and heroin remain at historic lows.

“Teens deserve to grow up in an environment where they are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and drug use never factors into that equation,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. “Today’s news demands that all of us recommit to bolstering the vital role prevention and involved parenting play in keeping young people safe, strong and ready to succeed.”

View the infographic 

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