Many small increases, no decreases in adolescent alcohol, tobacco, drug use

The 2009 Pride Survey National Summary of adolescent alcohol and drug use shows small, but significant increases in 30-day prevalence for a number of drug categories, and no significant decreases in 30-day use of any drug category measured in grades 6 through 12. These results are based on surveys completed during the 2008-2009 school year.

Most of the increases witnessed were small (less than 1 percent). However, they suggest that decreases in adolescent drug use over the last several years may have come to a halt.

Last week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released results of the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The 2009 Pride Survey data reflect several of the trends seen in the NSDUH survey, for example increases in ecstasy use and little change in marijuana use among adolescents. However, the Pride Survey data was more recently collected (by at least six months) than the NSDUH data.

Here are some of the key findings of the 2009 Pride Survey National Summary:

Grades 6-8 (ages 11 to 14)

  • Increases in 30-prevalence of cigarettes, cigars, any tobacco, beer, marijuana and lifetime prescription drug abuse.
  • No significant decreases in 30-day use.

Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

  • Increases in 30-day prevalence of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, any tobacco, beer, wine coolers, liquor, any alcohol, marijuana, inhalants, heroin, ecstasy, OxyContin, meth and any illicit drug.
  • No significant decreases in 30-day use.

Grades 6-12 (ages 11 to 18)

  • Increases in 30-prevalence of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, any tobacco, marijuana, ecstasy, OxyContin and lifetime prescription drug abuse.
  • No significant decreases in 30-day use.

The 2009 Pride Survey National Summary is based on the responses of 122,243 students selected from 447,532 students who completed the Pride Survey for Grades 6 to 12 during the school year from August 2008 until June 2009. These students, while not drawn through a formal probability sampling process, do represent a broad cross-section of American youth. Results from previous years national summaries have tracked closely with nationwide surveys such as Monitoring the Future.

Full Report

Multimedia presentation

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