The Monitoring the Future Study, conducted at the University of Michigan, has been tracking trends in teen drug use since 1975, and has amassed an
impressive database of information on the choices teens make concerning illicit drug use. Each year, MTF surveys some 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th,
graders across the United States. The Study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health.
2005 Monitoring the Future Survey Shows Continued Decline in Drug Use by Students
For Release December 19, 2005
While the 2005 survey showed a continuing general decline in drug use, there are continued high rates of non-medical use of prescription medications,
especially opioid painkillers. For example, in 2005, 9.5 percent of 12th graders reported using Vicodin in the past year, and 5.5 percent of these
students reported using OxyContin in the past year. Long term trends show a significant increase in the abuse of OxyContin from 2002 to 2005 among
12th graders. Also of concern is the significant increase in the use of sedatives/barbiturates among 12th graders since 2001.
"I'm pleased to see the decreased drug use noted in this survey; however, the upward trend in prescription drug abuse is disturbing," says NIH
Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. "We need to ensure that young people understand the very real risks of abusing any drug."
"While cigarette smoking is at lowest levels in the history of the survey and overall drug use among teens and adolescents is continuing to decline,
there remain areas of concern with specific drugs of abuse such as prescription painkillers," says Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health. "Prescription drugs are very powerful medicines that are effective when used properly
and with a doctor's supervision. Using these drugs without a prescription is dangerous. ItÕs imperative that teens get this message."
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This Study is a great tool for monitoring teen drug use and trends associated with it over time. The MTF website is a great resource for parents and
educators to get realistic statistics on what teens in specific age brackets are choosing in relation to specific illicit substances.
For instance, the illicit use of OxyContin has grown from a reported 4% of 12th graders last year to 5.5% this year, an increase of 37.5%, to a level
of more than 1-in-20 of those surveyed in that bracket on this substance. Vicodin use is steadily increasing to almost 1-in-10 (9.5%) in that same
group. As these substances are synthetic opiates, the increase in their illicit use by this group is alarming. It is well established that prolonged
use of such substances can cause irreparable heart and liver damage.
I guess its time to put the medicine cabinet under lock and key.
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[edit on 12/28/05 by FredT]