Teen Drug and Alcohol Use, the Good and the Bad

It appears that alcohol use and smoking are at historic lows, a great success story, according to the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America).  Says CADCA Chairman, Arthur T. Dean, “These data show that when our nation systematically and comprehensively invests the resources to reduce access and availability as well as works to change norms and perceptions we can achieve major reductions in youth use rates. However, our nation needs to focus much more attention and resources on effective prevention strategies to reduce marijuana use and abuse,” said CADCA Chairman and CEO General Arthur T. Dean.

Which brings us to the bad news:  Marijuana use (including synthetic marijuana) is up markedly.  The CADCA reported in the article that: “In fact, the annual prevalence rates among 8th graders during the past two years are higher than any time since 2003. Also concerning is that the rate of daily marijuana use rose among all three grades, with 1.3 percent of 8th graders, 3.6 percent of 10th graders and 6.6 percent of 12th graders reporting that they smoked marijuana on a daily basis. Among high school seniors, the daily use rate is now at a 30-year-peak level.  Not only was marijuana use at greater levels among youth, but attitudes toward drug use, which are often considered indicators of future use, have softened with fewer youth reporting that they see a risk of harm in smoking marijuana.”