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An excellent source of data for self-reported drug use among youth is the annual Monitoring the Future study supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse, which surveys 8th, 10th and 12th graders. Some statistics from the 2002 data are below: 

  • Approximately 31% of 8th graders, 47% of 10th graders and  57% of 12th graders have tried cigarettes;
  • Approximately 47% of 8th graders, 67% of 10th graders and  78% of 12th graders have used alcohol; 
  • Approximately 19% of 8th graders, 39% of 10th graders and  48% of 12th graders have used marijuana;
  • Approximately 24% of 8th graders, almost half (44%)  of 10th graders & over half (53%) of 12th graders  have tried an illicit drug;
An additional source of statistical support for widespread drug abuse prevention efforts is the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, a project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Some key data:
  • When the population was examined by age groups, the 2001 survey reported that 10.8 percent of youths 12 to 17 were current drug users compared with 9.7 percent in 2000.
  • About 10.1 million persons aged 12 to 20 years reported current use of alcohol in 2001. This number represents 28.5 percent of this age group for whom alcohol is an illegal substance. 
  • In 2001, the rate of current illicit drug use was approximately 9 times higher among youth who smoked cigarettes (48.0 percent) than it was among youths who did not (5.3 percent)
  • Between 1994 and 2000, the number of new inhalant users increased more than 50 percent, from 618,000 new users in 1994 to 979,000 in 2000.
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