In 1975 the Monitoring the Future survey started polling teenagers and their survey showed for the year of 2011 that cigarette and alcohol use by 8th, 10th and 12th graders are at their lowest point. When they looked at the rate of decline in teen smoking it showed that there is a slow rate of decline and there is also a continued high rate of abuse of other tobacco products like small cigars, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs. It looks like teens continue to abuse marijuana more than cigarettes and alcohol is still popular.
The 2011 survey showed “18.7 percent of 12th graders reported current cigarette use, compared to a recent peak rate of 36.5 percent in 1997 and 21.6 percent five years ago. Only 6.1 percent of 8th graders reported current smoking, compared to a recent peak of 21 percent in 1996 and 8.7 percent five years ago”.
“For alcohol 63.5 percent of 12th graders reported past year use, compared to a recent peak of 74.8 percent in 1997. 26.9 percent of 8th graders reported past year of alcohol in 2011, compared to a recent peak rate of 46.8 percent in 1994. Across all three grades there was a five year decrease in binge drinking this is measured as five or more drinks in a row”.
Drug rehabs in Tennessee report that education and public awareness campaigns are effective deterrents to drug abuse.
This report also shows that the use of marijuana has shown some increase in recent years and remains steady. “Five years ago it was 31.5 percent and this year it is 36.4 percent”.
There were 46,773 students from 400 public schools that participated in this year’s MTF survey. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of health and Human Services which provided all this data.
Georgia drug rehabs will be happy to see these numbers. If they continue to be backed up by more drug education campaigns, their job may become easier.