Young People and Drugs

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The Drug Policy Alliance has a series of resources for educators and parents, including a drug education curriculum and tips for talking to teens about drugs.

Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse has been working since the early 1980s to provide honest, effective drug education for young people.

Page last updated Jan. 5, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.

1. Juvenile Injustice: Children In The Criminal Justice System

"Too many children—particularly children in poverty; children of color; children with disabilities; children with mental health and substance abuse challenges; children subjected to neglect, abuse and/or other violence; children in foster care and LGBTQ children—are pushed out of their schools and homes into the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice systems. While the number of children arrested and incarcerated has declined over the past decade largely due to positive changes in policy and practice, America’s children continue to be criminalized at alarming rates.

"• In 2018, 728,280 children were arrested in the U.S. (see Table 33). A child or teen was arrested every 43 seconds despite a 63 percent reduction in child arrests between 2009 and 2018.

"• Although the number of children in the juvenile justice system has been cut in half since 2007, 43,580 children and youth were held in residential placement on a given night in 2017. Nearly 2 in 3 were placed in the most restrictive facilities.2

"• Another 935 children were incarcerated in adult prisons on any given night in 2017—down from 2,283 in 2007 (see Table 35). An estimated 76,000 children are prosecuted, sentenced or incarcerated as adults annually.3

"• While many states have made legislative changes to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, five states still automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults (Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin) and all states allow children charged with certain offenses to be prosecuted in adult courts.4"

"The State of America's Children 2020," Children's Defense Fund. Washington, DC: 2020.
https://www.childrensdefense.o...
https://www.childrensdefense.o...

2. Juvenile Injustice: Racism and Bigotry in the Juvenile Criminal Justice System

"• Although 62 percent of children arrested in the U.S. were white, children of color were nearly two times more likely to be arrested than white children.5 Black children were two and a half times more likely.6

"• In 2017, the residential placement rate for children of color was more than two times that for white children nationwide and more than four times that for white children in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Black children were committed or detained at nearly five times the rate of white children.7

"• Two-thirds (67 percent) of children in the juvenile justice system were children of color: 41 percent were Black and 21 percent were Hispanic (see Table 34).

"• Children of color are also disproportionately transferred to the adult criminal justice system, where they are tried and prosecuted as adults. In 2017, Black youth represented 54 percent of youth prosecuted in adult criminal court but only 15 percent of the total youth population.8 Black youth are nine times more likely than white youth to receive an adult prison sentence; American Indian/Alaska Native youth are almost two times more likely and Hispanic youth are 40 percent more likely.9"

"The State of America's Children 2020," Children's Defense Fund. Washington, DC: 2020.
https://www.childrensdefense.o...
https://www.childrensdefense.o...

3. Juvenile Injustice: Boys, Youth With Disabilities, and LGBTQ Youth

"Boys, youth with disabilities and LGBTQ youth also come into disproportionate contact with juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.

"• In 2017, the residential placement rate for boys was more than five times that for girls. Eighty-five percent of children in residential placement were male.10

"• At least 1 in 3 youth in the juvenile justice system has a disability qualifying them for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—nearly four times the rate of youth in public schools. Less than half receive special education services while in custody.11

"• The percent of LGBTQ children in the juvenile justice system (20 percent) is more than two times that of LGBTQ youth in the general population (7-9 percent); 85 percent are children of color.12"

"The State of America's Children 2020," Children's Defense Fund. Washington, DC: 2020.
https://www.childrensdefense.o...
https://www.childrensdefense.o...

4. Juvenile Injustice: Trauma and Risk of Abuse

"Once incarcerated, children are at risk of physical and psychological abuse, sexual assault, suicide and other harms, including inadequate educational instruction. The use of solitary confinement further deprives them of social interaction, mental stimulation and key services during a critical time of adolescent brain development. Risks are heightened for children in the adult criminal justice system, which is focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation and treatment. Children in adult jails are more likely to suffer permanent trauma and are five times more likely to die by suicide than children held in juvenile detention centers.13

"We have better choices than incarceration. Diversion, treatment, after school and family support programs support children, keep communities safe and save taxpayer dollars."

"The State of America's Children 2020," Children's Defense Fund. Washington, DC: 2020.
https://www.childrensdefense.o...
https://www.childrensdefense.o...

5. Arrests of Young People on Marijuana Charges in Colorado Since Legalization

"The number of juvenile marijuana arrests decreased 16%, from 3,168 in 2012 to 2,655 in 2017. The rate of juvenile marijuana arrests per 100,000 decreased from 583 in 2012 to 453 in 2017 (‐22%).

"The number of White juvenile arrests decreased from 2,146 in 2012 to 1,703 in 2017 (‐21%).

"The number of Hispanic juvenile arrests decreased from 767 in 2012 to 733 in 2017 (‐4%).

"The number of Black juvenile arrests decreased from 202 in 2012 to 172 in 2017 (‐15%)."

Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics. October 2018, p. 5.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacif...
http://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/or...

6. Marijuana Use by Young People in Washington State Following Legalization

"More schools and students are captured in the HYS [Washington Healthy Youth Survey] than MTF [Monitoring The Future Survey] (Table). The MTF included fewer low–socioeconomic status and nonwhite youth in the prelegalization vs postlegalization period.

"Estimates from the MTF show statistically nonsignificant change in the prevalence of cannabis use for 8th graders (from 6.2% [95% CI, 4.4%-8.7%] to 8.2% [95% CI, 6.3%-10.7%];P = .16), and a significant increase for 10th graders (from 16.2% [95% CI, 14.0%-18.6%] to 20.3% [95% CI, 16.9%-24.1%]; P = .02). In contrast, the HYS shows statistically significant declines in prevalence from 2010-2012 to 2014-2016 among both 8th graders (from 9.8% [95% CI, 9.1%-10.5%] to 7.3% [95% CI, 6.6%-8.0%]; P < .001) and 10th graders (from 19.8% [95%CI, 18.6%-21.0%] to 17.8% [95%CI, 16.7%-18.9%]; P = .01). Neither MTF nor HYS analysis showed changes among 12th graders (Figure). Findings from HYS comparisons to 2014 alone were of less magnitude but similar direction."

Dilley JA, Richardson SM, Kilmer B, Pacula RL, Segawa MB, Cerdá M. Prevalence of Cannabis Use in Youths After Legalization in Washington State. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(2):192–193. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4458
https://jamanetwork.com/journa...

7. Use of Marijuana by Young People in Colorado Since Legalization

"Data on youth marijuana use was available from two sources. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), with 47,146 high school and 6,704 middle school students responding in 2017, and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), with about 512 respondents in 2015/16.

"HKCS results indicate no significant change in past 30‐day use of marijuana between 2013 (19.7%) and 2017 (19.4%). Also, in 2017, the use rates were not different from the national 30‐day use rates reported by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.2 In 2017, 19.4% of Colorado high school students reported using marijuana in the past 30‐days compared to 19.8% of high school students nationally that reported this behavior.

"The 2017 HKCS found that marijuana use increases by grade level, with 11.0% of 9th graders, 17.7% of 10th graders, 23.7% of 11th graders, and 25.7% of 12th reporting use in the past 30‐days.

"The 2015/16 NSDUH, with many fewer respondents compared to HKCS, indicated a gradual increase in youth use from 2006/07 (9.1%) to 2013/14 (12.6%); however, the last two years showed decreased use, with 9.1% reporting use in 2015/16. The NSDUH showed that youth use of marijuana in Colorado (9.1%) was above the national average (6.8%)."

Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics. October 2018, p. 5.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacif...
http://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/or...

8. Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs by Young People

"Teen users are at significantly higher risk of developing an addictive disorder compared to adults, and the earlier they began using, the higher their risk. Nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorders involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18. People who begin using any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to develop a substance use disorder as those who delay use until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent)."

"Adolescent Substance Abuse: America's #1 Public Health Problem," National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, June 2011, p. 2.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad...

9. Lifetime Marijuana Use Among Students in the US, by Race and Gender

"Nationwide, 35.6% of students had used marijuana (also called grass, pot, or weed) one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 106). The prevalence of having ever used marijuana was higher among black (42.8%) and Hispanic (42.4%) than white (32.0%) students, higher among black female (44.9%) and Hispanic female (42.7%) than white female (32.1%) students, and higher among black male (40.5%) and Hispanic male (42.1%) than white male (31.7%) students. The prevalence of having ever used marijuana was higher among 10th-grade (33.3%), 11th-grade (41.4%), and 12th-grade (45.8%) than 9th-grade (23.8%) students; higher among 11th-grade (41.4%) and 12th grade (45.8%) than 10th-grade (33.3%) students; higher among 12th-grade (45.8%) than 11th-grade (41.4%) students; higher among 10th-grade female (33.6%), 11th-grade female (42.3%), and 12th-grade female (45.3%) than 9th-grade female (24.1%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (42.3%) and 12th-grade female (45.3%) than 10th-grade female (33.6%) students; higher among 10th-grade male (33.1%), 11th-grade male (40.3%), and 12th-grade male (46.2%) than 9th-grade male (23.4%) students; higher among 11th-grade male (40.3%) and 12th-grade male (46.2%) than 10th-grade male (33.1%) students; and higher among 12th-grade male (46.2%) than 11th-grade male (40.3%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 35.2% of heterosexual students; 50.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 28.8% of not sure students had ever used marijuana (Supplementary Table 106). The prevalence of having ever used marijuana was higher among heterosexual (35.2%) and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (50.4%) than not sure (28.8%) students and higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (50.4%) than heterosexual (35.2%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (54.3%) than heterosexual (34.7%) and not sure (29.9%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among heterosexual (35.7%) and gay and bisexual (38.5%) than not sure (24.9%) students. The prevalence also was higher among lesbian and bisexual female (54.3%) than gay and bisexual male (38.5%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

10. Perceived Availability of Drugs Among Young People in the US

"• Substantial differences were found in perceived availability of the various drugs. The percentage of 12th graders reporting it would be fairly easy or easy to get a drug varied from 16% or less for heroin and PCP to above 80% for alcohol, vaping devices, and an e-liquid with nicotine for vaping.

"• In general, the more widely used drugs are reported to be available by higher proportions of the age group, as would be expected (see Tables 9-7, 9 8, and 9-9). The substances with the highest levels of use in 2019, such as marijuana, alcohol, and e-liquids for vaping, also place in the top three in terms of perceived availability.

"• Older age groups generally perceive drugs to be more available. For example, in 2019, 35% of 8th graders said marijuana would be fairly easy or very easy to get (which we refer to as “readily available”), versus 66% of 10th graders and 78% of 12th graders. In fact, compared to 8th graders, the proportions of 12th graders indicating that drugs are available to them are two to four times as high for other illicit drugs included in the study. (An exception is tranquilizers, which are perceived to be about equally available in 8th and 12th grades, and have highest perceived availability in 10th grade.)

"• Higher availability among both the more widely used drugs and also older age groups is consistent with the notion that availability is largely attained through friendship circles. (Friends clearly are the leading source through which 12th graders obtain prescription drugs, as discussed above.) The differences among age groups may also reflect less willingness and/or motivation on the part of those who deal drugs to establish contact with younger adolescents.

"• Marijuana appears to be readily available to the great majority of 12th graders; in 2019, 78% reported that they think it would be very easy or fairly easy to get – far higher than the proportion who reported ever having used it (44%). Marijuana has the highest availability level of all illicit substances in this grade.

"• There is a considerable drop in availability after marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and vaping; the next most readily available class of drugs for 12th graders is amphetamines, with 39% saying these drugs would be very or fairly easy to get, followed by narcotics other than heroin (31%).

"• Between 16% and 30% of 12th graders perceived the following as readily available: MDMA (ecstasy, Molly) (24%), hallucinogens other than LSD (30%), cocaine (24%), LSD (28%), sedatives (barbiturates) (24%), cocaine powder (20%), steroids (19%), heroin (16%), and crack (17%).

"• Crystal methamphetamine (ice), tranquilizers, and PCP were reported as readily available by smaller proportions of 12th graders in 2019 (12%, 15%, and 11%, respectively).

"• In 8th grade the percentage who reported they could fairly or very easily get a vaping device was 49% and for e-liquids with nicotine it was 46%. The respective availability levels in 10th grade were 68% and 65%, and in 12th grade they were 83% and 82%.

"• The availability of a JUUL vaping device was asked for the first time of 8th and 10th grade students in 2019. Levels of availability were nearly identical for the more general category of a “vaping device.” In 8th grade the availability of JUUL as compared to a vaping device was 52% and 49%, respectively, and in 10th grade it was 69% and 68%, respectively. In both grades JUUL and vaping devices had higher availability levels than cigarettes.

"• In 2019, 43% of 8th graders, 58% of 10th graders, and 75% of 12th graders thought that cigarettes would be fairly easy or very easy for them to get if they wanted some.

"• The great majority of teens see alcohol as readily available: In 2019, 53% of 8th graders, 69% of 10th graders, and 84% of 12th graders said it would be fairly easy or very easy to get.

"• Drug availability levels are lowest in 8th grade. Even so, marijuana was described as readily available by 35% of 8th graders in 2019.

"• Because many inhalants – such as glues, butane, and aerosols – are universally available, we do not ask about their availability. See Table 9-9 for the full list of drugs included in the questions for 12th graders; a few of these drugs were not asked of the younger students (see Tables 9-7 and 9-8)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

11. Personal Disapproval of Drug Use Among 12th Graders in the US

"• The majority of 12th graders disapprove of regular use of any of the illicit drugs (see Table 8-6). Among 12th graders in 2019, 63% disapprove (including strongly disapprove) of regular marijuana use and between 91% and 97% disapprove of regular use of each of the other illicit drugs.

"• For each of the drugs included in this set of questions, fewer respondents indicate disapproval of experimental or occasional use than of regular use. However, the differences are not great for the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana, because nearly all 12th graders disapprove of even experimenting with them. For example, the proportions disapproving of experimental use are 96% for heroin, 89% for cocaine, 89% for crack, 86% for sedatives (barbiturates), 86% for cocaine powder, 76% for LSD, and 90% for MDMA (ecstasy, Molly). The extent of disapproval of illicit drug use by peers is no doubt underestimated by adolescents and, as we have written for some time, the extent of disapproval that actually does exist could be widely publicized and provide the basis for some potentially powerful prevention messages in the form of normative education.14

"• Disapproval of marijuana by 12th graders increases substantially for higher levels of use. The percentage who disapprove of marijuana use is 34% for trying it once or twice, 41% for occasional use, and 63% for regular use. Looked at another way, fewer than four out of ten 12th graders (37%) say they do not disapprove of regular marijuana use.

"• Smoking a pack (or more) of cigarettes per day now meets with disapproval by about eight out of nine (88%) 12th grade students – a level comparable to the level of disapproval for many of the illicit drugs and substantially higher than disapproval of regular marijuana use.

"• Vaping nicotine has the second lowest disapproval level for regular use for any drug among 12th grade students. Its level of 70% is second only to regular marijuana use (at 63%). The use of nicotine vaping as a smoking cessation aid among some adults likely lowers levels of disapproval among 12th graders.

"Levels of disapproval for JUUL use are almost identical to those for nicotine vaping, suggesting that 12th grade students see the two as synonymous.

"• Having one or two drinks nearly every day meets with the disapproval of 73% of 12th graders. Curiously, almost the same percentage of 12th graders (75%) disapprove of weekend binge drinking (five or more drinks once or twice each weekend), despite the fact that twice as many of them see a great risk in weekend binge drinking (46%) than in having one or two drinks nearly every day (21%)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

12. Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws on Adolescent Marijuana Use

"Concerns about laws and policy measures that may inadvertently affect youth drug use merit careful consideration. Our study does not show evidence of a clear relationship between legalization of marijuana for medical purposes and youth drug use for any age group, which may provide some reassurance to policymakers who wish to balance compassion for individuals who have been unable to find relief from conventional medical therapies with the safety and well-being of youth. Further research is required to track the trends in marijuana use among adolescents, particularly with respect to different types of marijuana laws and implementation of laws in each state."

Choo, Esther K. et al. (2014), "The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use," Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 55, Issue 2, p. 160 - 166.
http://www.jahonline.org/artic...
http://www.jahonline.org/artic...

13. In Spite Of Legalization, Fewer Young People Than Ever In The US Report That Marijuana Is Easily Available

"Marijuana has been the most consistently available illicit drug and has shown only small variations over the years (see Figure 9-5a). What is most noteworthy is how little change has occurred in the proportion of 12th graders who say that marijuana is fairly or very easy to get. By this measure, marijuana has been readily available to the great majority of American 12th graders (from 80% to 90%) since 1975.

"While variability has been small over the course of the survey, perceived availability of marijuana is at or near historic lows in each grade. In 2019 in 8th grade it was 35% (tied with 2016, 2017, and 2018 for a historic low), in 10th grade it was 66% (the third lowest level recorded by the survey, just above the 2016 low), and in 12th grade it was at 78% (the lowest level ever recorded by the survey). This decline in perceived availability is somewhat counter-intuitive and unexpected, given the widespread adoption of medical marijuana laws and recent legalizing of recreational marijuana use for adults in several states."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

14. Estimated 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs for Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined


Click here for complete datatable of Estimated 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs for Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined in the US, 1998-2016

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2016: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 58-59, Table 3.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

15. Many Youth Discontinue Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs by the Time They Leave High School

"Among 12th graders, the highest noncontinuation rate is observed for inhalants (64%), followed by crystal methamphetamine (ice) (50%) and narcotics other than heroin (49%). Many inhalants are used primarily at a younger age, and use is often not continued into 12th grade. The rank ordering for noncontinuation of other drugs is as follows: tranquilizers, cigarettes, methamphetamine, cocaine other than crack, amphetamines, cocaine, sedatives (barbiturates), heroin, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), hallucinogens, and steroids (all between 34% and 45%).

"• The drugs most likely to be continued include alcohol use to the point of being drunk (only a 20% noncontinuation rate), marijuana (18%), nicotine vaping (13%), marijuana vaping (12%), and any alcohol use (11%). It is important to recognize that substantial proportions of students who try the various illicit drugs do not continue use, even into later adolescence. (Note: Use of heroin with and without a needle is not included due to very low case counts.

"• The noncontinuation rate of 12% for marijuana vaping is the second lowest of all substances assessed, with alcohol lower (at 11%). This low level of noncontinuation stems in part from the record high levels of past 12-month incidence in 2019, which was the second highest increase ever recorded by MTF in its history. Any past-year use lowers noncontinuation, by definition, and all incidence is past-year use. Should the level of incidence recede in the coming years, then noncontinuation will subsequently increase. Nevertheless, the noncontinuation rate of marijuana vaping will likely continue to rank as one of the lowest, even with future increases, as long as 12th graders perceive vaping as a form of drug use with relatively little risk of physical harm (discussed in Chapter 8).

"• The noncontinuation rate of 13% for nicotine vaping is the third lowest of all substances assessed (only marijuana vaping and alcohol are lower at 12% and 11%, respectively). Part of the reason for its low level of noncontinuation in 2019 is its very high level of incidence, which by definition lowers noncontinuation (discussed in more detail immediately above for marijuana vaping). Also likely contributing to the low noncontinuation level is the very low level of perceived risk for nicotine vaping (discussed in Chapter 8). Nevertheless, even with a rate higher than its current level we expect in future years that nicotine vaping will continue to have one of the lowest of all noncontinuation rates, given that nicotine is a highly addictive substance.

"• It is noteworthy that, of all the 12th graders who have ever used crack (1.7%), only about one third (0.7%) report current use and 0.2% of the total sample report current daily use. While there is no question that crack is highly addictive, evidence from MTF has suggested consistently that it is not addictive on the first use, contrary to what was often alleged in the past.

"• In contrast to illicit drugs, noncontinuation rates for licit drugs are extremely low. Among 12th grade students alcohol has a lifetime prevalence of 59% and an annual prevalence of 52%, yielding a noncontinuation rate of only 11% (52%/59%).

"• Noncontinuation had to be defined differently for cigarettes because respondents are not asked to report on their cigarette use in the past year. The noncontinuation rate is thus defined as the percentage of those who say they had ever smoked who also reported not smoking at all during the past 30 days rather than the past year. Of the 12th graders who said they were ever regular smokers, 74% have ceased active use.

"• Noncontinuation is defined for smokeless tobacco much the same way as for cigarettes. In 2019, 65% of lifetime regular users did not use in the past 30 days.

"• In addition to providing 12th grade data, Figure 4-3 presents comparable data on noncontinuation rates based on responses of 8th and 10th graders. As mentioned above, the drugs have been left in the same order as the rank-ordered drugs in 12th grade to facilitate comparison across grades.

"• The noncontinuation rates for inhalants are very high and rise with grade level (51%, 59%, and 64% in grades 8, 10, and 12)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

16. Marijuana Use Prevalence and Trends Among Youth in the US

"• Figure 5-4a and Table 5-5d provide trends in daily marijuana use, defined as using marijuana on 20 or more occasions in the prior 30 days. Among 12th grade students, the 2019 level of 6.4% is the highest level recorded by the survey since 2013. About one in every 16 twelfth grade students in 2019 was a daily or near-daily marijuana user. Daily marijuana use significantly increased in 8th and 10th grade in 2019, to 1.3% and 4.8%, respectively.

"In context, the percentage of youth using marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis today is substantially lower than its peak in the late 1970s, when it reached a high of 10.7% among 12th grade students, or about one in every nine students. As discussed in Chapter 8, we think much of the decline from this peak is attributable to a very substantial increase in teens’ concerns about possible adverse effects from regular use and to a growing perception that peers disapproved of marijuana use, particularly regular use. In recent years teens have reported less concern about marijuana’s potential adverse effects and less disapproval of it (reported in Chapter 8), and daily use has risen considerably since the early 1990s.

"• Table 5-4 presents trend data on lifetime daily marijuana use for a month or more (this question is asked only of 12th grade students and on only one form). Prevalence in 2019 (15%) is between the high of 21% (set in 1982, when first measured by the survey) and the low of 8% (set in 1992, just before the 1990s drug relapse). Before 2011, prevalence hovered at around 16% since 1996, then rose in 2011 and 2012 along with current daily use, before declining some and then remaining stable in recent years. In a pattern seen with many other drugs, prevalence increased considerably during the 1990s relapse (from 1992 to 1997) having decreased considerably prior to the relapse.

"• Medical marijuana prescriptions for adolescents have been surveyed since 2017 and are rare. In all grades and in all years, fewer than 1.5% of adolescents reported that they had ever used marijuana because a doctor told them to do so.

"• Annual prevalence of synthetic marijuana has decreased dramatically since it was first tracked by Monitoring the Future in 2011 for 12th graders and 2012 for 8th and 10th graders (Table 5-5b and Figure 5-4b). For 12th graders, annual prevalence declined from 11.4% in 2011 to 3.3% in 2019, a drop of more than two-thirds. For 10th graders, annual prevalence declined from 8.8% in 2012 to 2.6% in 2019. For 8th graders the decline was from 4.4% in 2012 to 2.12 in 2019.

"The current 2.7% level in 8th grade reflects a significant 1.1 percentage point increase in 2019, which is concerning. It may be that 8th graders are confusing synthetic marijuana with marijuana vaping, which increased significantly in 2019 (discussed below). This could explain the unusual finding of a slightly higher prevalence among 8th as compared to 10th grade students."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

17. Marijuana Legalization May Lead To Decreased Use By Young People

"Consistent with the results of previous researchers,2 there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al4 and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.6"

Anderson DM, Hansen B, Rees DI, Sabia JJ. Association of Marijuana Laws With Teen Marijuana Use: New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. JAMA Pediatr. Published online July 08, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1720
https://jamanetwork.com/journa...

18. Perceived Availability of Illicit Drugs and Likelihood of Use Among Youth in the US, 2012

"• Youths aged 12 to 17 in 2012 who perceived that it was easy to obtain specific illicit drugs were more likely to be past month users of those illicit drugs than were youths who perceived that obtaining specific illicit drugs would be fairly difficult, very difficult, or probably impossible. For example, 17.4 percent of youths who reported that marijuana would be easy to obtain were past month illicit drug users, but only 2.9 percent of those who thought marijuana would be more difficult to obtain were past month users. Similarly, 14.4 percent of youths who reported that marijuana would be easy to obtain were past month marijuana users, but only 1.1 percent of those who thought marijuana would be more difficult to obtain were past month users.
"• The percentage of youths who reported that marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, and LSD would be easy to obtain increased with age in 2012. For instance, 19.5 percent of those aged 12 or 13 said it would be fairly or very easy to obtain marijuana compared with 50.1 percent of those aged 14 or 15 and 71.0 percent of those aged 16 or 17.
"• In 2012, 13.2 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 indicated that they had been approached by someone selling drugs in the past month. This rate declined between 2002 (16.7 percent) and 2012, although the 2012 rate was similar to the 2011 rate (13.8 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 70.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

19. Prevalence of Substance Use Among Young People in the US by Race/Ethnicity

"For a number of years, 12th grade African-American students reported lifetime, annual, 30-day, and daily prevalence levels for nearly all drugs that were lower – sometimes dramatically so – than those for White or Hispanic 12th graders. That is less true today, with levels of drug use among African Americans more similar to the other groups. This narrowing of the gap between African Americans and other two racial/ethnic groups is also seen in 8th and 10th grade, indicating that this narrowing in 12th grade is almost certainly not due primarily to differential dropout rates.

"• Whites have the lowest levels of annual marijuana use in 8th grade, at 8% compared to 11.6% and 14.3% for African American and Hispanic students, respectively. In 10th and 12th grade annual marijuana use differs little by race/ethnicity.

"• A number of drugs are much less popular among African-American teens than among White teens, particularly at the higher grades. These include nicotine vaping, marijuana vaping, use of hallucinogens, nonmedical use of sedatives (barbiturates), tranquilizers, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), nonmedical use of amphetamines, narcotics other than heroin, cocaine, and cocaine other than crack.

"• By 12th grade, White students have the highest lifetime and annual prevalence levels among the three major racial/ethnic groups for many substances, including alcohol use, being drunk, vaping nicotine, vaping marijuana, LSD, hallucinogens other than LSD, MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), and nonmedical use of narcotics other than heroin, amphetamines, and tranquilizers. Not all of these findings are replicated at lower grade levels, however. See Tables 4-5 and 4-6 for specifics.

"• Hispanics in 2019 had the highest annual prevalence at all three grade levels for synthetic marijuana, cocaine, crack, and cocaine other than crack. It bears repeating that Hispanics have a considerably higher dropout rate than Whites or African Americans, based on Census Bureau statistics, which should tend to diminish any such differences by 12th grade, yet there remain sizeable differences even in the upper grades.

"• In 8th grade – before most dropping out occurs – Hispanics had the highest levels of use of almost all substances, whereas by 12th grade Whites have the highest levels of use of most. Certainly the considerably higher dropout rate among Hispanics could help explain this shift. Another explanation worth consideration is that Hispanics may tend to start using drugs at a younger age, but Whites overtake them at older ages. These explanations are not mutually exclusive, of course, and to some degree both explanations may hold true.

"• Table 4-8 shows that White students have by far the highest prevalence of daily cigarette smoking while African American and Hispanic students are fairly close to each other among all three grades, for example, 12th grade Whites have a 3.5% daily smoking prevalence, Hispanics, 1.9%, and African Americans, 1.8%.

"• Thirty-day prevalence of smokeless tobacco use is highest among White students in 10th and 12th grade. The difference is quite pronounced in 12th grade, with prevalence rates of 5.6% for White students versus 1.5% for Hispanic and 1.3% for African American students.

"• African-American students have the lowest 30-day prevalence for alcohol use in all three grades. They also have the lowest prevalence for self-reports of having been drunk during the prior 30 days. The differences are largest at 12th grade, with 22% of Whites reporting having been drunk, 12% of Hispanics, and 11% of African Americans.

"• Recent binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row during the prior two weeks) is also lowest among African Americans in all three grades; in 12th grade, their level of use is 6.7% versus 18% for Whites and 11% for Hispanics. The corresponding prevalence levels for 10th grade are 4.2% for African Americans vs. 9.7% for Whites and 9.3% for Hispanics. In 8th grade, Hispanics have the highest prevalence at 5.3% compared to 3.4% for Whites and 1.9% for African Americans.

"• Hispanic students have markedly lower levels of use for drugs used to treat ADHD than do White and African American students. In 2019 prevalence of use for either stimulant or non-stimulant prescription ADHD drugs was 5.5% among Hispanic students as compared to 12% for White students and 15% for African American students. Use of either of these drugs in the past 30 days is also much lower for Hispanic students, who have a prevalence level of 1.9% as compared to 5.8% for White students and 5.0% for African American students. As to why Hispanic students are less likely to be treated with ADHD drugs than White and African American students, possible contributing factors include Hispanic families being less likely to get access to, or be able to afford, professional assessment and treatment.

"• Levels of past-year use for diet pills did not differ much by race/ethnicity in 2019. They varied between a narrow range of 1.5% for Hispanic students and 2.5% for African American students, with White students in the middle at 2.0%."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2020). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2019: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

20. Availability of Alcohol Among Youth As Measured by Monitoring The Future Study

"Although availability of alcohol among 12th grade students is near its lowest level recorded since first measured in 1999, at 86% it is still very high.

"More substantial changes in the availability of alcohol have taken place among 8th and 10th graders. For 8th graders availability declined from 76% in 1992 to 53% in 2017. For 10th graders availability is down from the peak level of 90% in 1996 to 72% in 2017. This may reflect some success in state and local efforts to reduce access by those who are under age. It is worth noting, however, that even after these declines, alcohol clearly remains available to the majority of teens."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2018). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2017: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

21. Availability of Cigarettes Among 8th and 10th Graders According To The Monitoring The Future Study

"The perceived availability of cigarettes continued a long-term decline in 8th and 10th grade to historic low levels, with a significant decline in 10th grade. (Availability of cigarettes in 12th grade was first asked this year, so trend data are not yet available). After holding fairly steady at very high levels for some years, perceived availability reported by 8th and 10th graders began to decline modestly after 1996, very likely as a result of increased enforcement of laws prohibiting sale to minors under the Synar Amendment and FDA regulations. The proportion of 8th graders saying that they could get cigarettes fairly or very easily fell from 77% in 1996 to 56% in 2010, and was at 46% in 2017. Over the same interval, the decline among 10th graders was from 91% in 1996 to 63% in 2017. These are encouraging changes and suggest that government and local efforts to reduce accessibility to adolescents—particularly younger adolescents—seem to be working."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2018). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2017: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

22. Drug Availability and Drug-Related Discipline Incidents at US Public Schools

"• The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property decreased from 32  percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2015 (Indicator 9).

"• In 2015, lower percentages of Asian students (15 percent), White students (20 percent), and Black students (21 percent) than of Hispanic students (27 percent) reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property (Indicator 9).

"• During the 2014–15 school year, the rate of illicit drug-related discipline incidents was 389  per 100,000 students in the United States. The majority of jurisdictions had rates between 100 and 1,000 illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2014–15 school year. Three states had rates of illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were below 100: Wyoming, Texas, and Michigan, while Kentucky had the only rate that was above 1,000 (Indicator 9)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

23. Law Enforcement Officers Assigned to Growing Number of US Public Schools

"• The percentage of public schools reporting the presence of security staff was higher during the 2015–16 school year than during the 2005–06 school year (57 vs. 42 percent). The percentage of schools reporting the presence of sworn law enforcement officers was also higher in 2015–16 than in 2005–06 (48 vs. 36 percent), as was the percentage of schools reporting the presence of a School Resource Officer (42 vs. 32 percent; Spotlight 1).

"• Among secondary schools with any sworn law enforcement officer present at least once a week, a lower percentage of schools in cities reported having an officer who carried a firearm (87  percent) compared with schools in towns (97 percent) and schools in suburban and rural areas (95 percent each; Spotlight 1).

"• Among public schools with any sworn law enforcement officers, a lower percentage of primary schools (51 percent) than of secondary schools (70 percent) reported their school or district had any formalized policies or written documents (such as a Memorandum of Use or Memorandum of Agreement) that outlined the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of sworn law enforcement officers at school (Spotlight 1)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

24. Gang Presence at US Public Schools Decreased Dramatically Between 2001 and 2015

"• Between 2001 and 2015, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported that gangs were present at their school decreased from 20 to 11 percent. The percentage who reported gangs were present at their school was also lower in 2015 than in 2013 (12 percent; Indicator 8).

"• A higher percentage of students from urban areas (15 percent) reported a gang presence than of students from suburban (10 percent) and rural areas (4 percent) in 2015. Additionally, a higher percentage of students attending public schools (11 percent) than of students attending private schools (2 percent) reported that gangs were present at their school in 2015 (Indicator 8).

"• In 2015, higher percentages of Black (17 percent) and Hispanic (15 percent) students reported the presence of gangs at their school than of White (7 percent) and Asian (4 percent) students (Indicator 8)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

25. Alcohol-Related Discipline Incidents at US Public Schools

"During the 2014–15 school year, there were 22,500 reported alcohol-related discipline incidents in the United States (table 15.5).73 The number of alcohol-related incidents varies widely across jurisdictions, due in large part to their differing populations. Therefore, the rate of alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students can provide a more comparable indication of the frequency of these incidents across jurisdictions. During the 2014–15 school year, the rate of alcohol-related discipline incidents was 45 per 100,000 students in the United States.

"The majority of jurisdictions had rates between 10 and 100 alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2014–15 school year. Two states had rates of alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were below 10: Texas and Wyoming, while six states had rates above 100: Arkansas, Alaska, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, and Colorado."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

26. Prevalence Among US High School Students of Having Carried a Weapon on School Property in the Previous 30 Days, by Gender

"Nationwide, 3.8% of students had carried a weapon (e.g., a gun, knife, or club) on school property on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (Supplementary Table 18). The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among male (5.6%) than female (1.9%) students; higher among white male (5.9%), black male (5.4%), and Hispanic male (4.5%) than white female (1.7%), black female (1.7%), and Hispanic female (2.5%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (3.6%), 10th-grade male (4.8%), 11th-grade male (7.1%), and 12th-grade male (7.0%) than 9th-grade female (1.3%), 10th-grade female (1.4%), 11th-grade female (3.0%), and 12th-grade female (1.5%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among 11th-grade (5.0%) and 12th-grade (4.2%) than 9th-grade (2.5%) students; higher among 11th-grade (5.0%) than 10th-grade (3.2%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (3.0%) than 9th-grade female (1.3%), 10th-grade female (1.4%), and 12th-grade female (1.5%) students; and higher among 11th-grade male (7.1%) and 12th-grade male (7.0%) than 9th-grade male (3.6%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 3.4% of heterosexual students; 5.9% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 4.9% of not sure students had carried a weapon on school property (Supplementary Table 18). The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (5.9%) than heterosexual (3.4%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (4.9%) than heterosexual (1.4%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual male (5.0%) than heterosexual female (1.4%) students and higher among not sure male (6.8%) than not sure female (2.2%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

27. Students' Perceptions of their Personal Safety Both At School and Away From School

"Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school decreased overall (from 12 to 3 percent), as well as among male students (from 11 to 3 percent) and female students (from 13 to 4 percent). In addition, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school decreased between 1995 and 2015 for White students (from 8 to 3 percent), Black students (from 20 to 3 percent), and Hispanic students (from 21 to 5 percent). A declining trend was also observed away from school: between 1999 (the first year of data collection for this item) and 2015, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school decreased from 6 to 2 percent overall, from 4 to 1 percent for male students, and from 7 to 3 percent for female students. The percentages of White, Black, and Hispanic students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school also decreased during this period (from 4 to 2 percent for White students and from 9 to 3 percent each for Black and Hispanic students).

"Between the two most recent survey years, 2013 and 2015, no measurable differences were found in the overall percentages of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm, either at school or away from school. However, the percentage of male students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school was lower in 2015 (1 percent) than in 2013 (2 percent).

"In 2015, a higher percentage of female students than of male students reported being afraid of attack or harm at school (4 vs. 3 percent) and away from school (3 vs. 1 percent). In general, the percentages of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school and away from school were not measurably different across racial/ethnic groups. However, a higher percentage of Hispanic students (5 percent) than of White students (3 percent) reported being afraid of attack or harm at school in 2015. Similarly, a higher percentage of Hispanic students (3 percent) than of White students (2 percent) reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school.

"Higher percentages of 6th-graders (5 percent) and 7th- and 8th-graders (4 percent each) reported being afraid of attack or harm at school than did 10th- and 12th-graders (2 percent each) in 2015. The percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school was higher for 8th-graders (3 percent) than for 10th-graders (1 percent)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

28. Current Alcohol Use Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 29.8% of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (i.e., current alcohol use) (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among female (31.8%) than male (27.6%) students; higher among black female (24.3%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black male (16.9%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.0%) and 11th-grade female (36.8%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) and 11th-grade male (31.6%) students, respectively. The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among white (32.4%) and Hispanic (31.3%) than black (20.8%) students, higher among white female (33.2%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black female (24.3%) students, higher among white male (31.6%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) than black male (16.9%) students, and higher among white male (31.6%) than Hispanic male (26.8%) students. The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among 10th-grade (27.0%), 11th-grade (34.4%), and 12th-grade (40.8%) than 9th-grade (18.8%) students; higher among 11th-grade (34.4%) and 12th-grade (40.8%) than 10th-grade (27.0%) students; higher among 12th-grade (40.8%) than 11th-grade (34.4%) students; higher among 10th-grade female (28.7%), 11th-grade female (36.8%), and 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 9th-grade female (22.0%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (36.8%) and 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 10th-grade female (28.7%) students; higher among 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 11th-grade female (36.8%) students; higher among 10th-grade male (25.3%), 11th-grade male (31.6%), and 12th-grade male (40.5%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) students; higher among 11th-grade male (31.6%) and 12th-grade male (40.5%) than 10th-grade male (25.3%) students; and higher among 12th grade male (40.5%) than 11th-grade male (31.6%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, the prevalence of current alcohol use was 29.7% among heterosexual students; 37.4% among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 21.5% among not sure students (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among heterosexual (29.7%) and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (37.4%) than not sure (21.5%) students and higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (37.4%) than heterosexual (29.7%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among heterosexual (32.2%) and lesbian and bisexual (39.9%) than not sure (20.6%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual (39.9%) than heterosexual (32.2%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual female (32.2%) than heterosexual male (27.7%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual female (39.9%) than gay and bisexual male (29.5%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

29. Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 14.9% of students had been electronically bullied (counting being bullied through texting, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media) during the 12 months before the survey (Supplementary Table 28). The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among female (19.7%) than male (9.9%) students; higher among white female (23.0%), black female (13.3%), and Hispanic female (17.2%) than white male (11.2%), black male (8.4%), and Hispanic male (7.6%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.3%), 10th-grade female (19.7%), 11th-grade female (19.9%), and 12th-grade female (16.4%) than 9th-grade male (10.9%), 10th-grade male (9.7%), 11th-grade male (8.2%), and 12th-grade male (10.4%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among white (17.3%) than black (10.9%) and Hispanic (12.3%) students, higher among white female (23.0%) and Hispanic female (17.2%) than black female (13.3%) students, higher among white female (23.0%) than Hispanic female (17.2%) students, and higher among white male (11.2%) than black male (8.4%) and Hispanic male (7.6%) students. The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among 9th-grade (16.7%) than 10th-grade (14.8%) and 12th-grade (13.5%) students, higher among 9th-grade female (22.3%) and 10th grade female (19.7%) than 12th-grade female (16.4%) students, and higher among 9th-grade male (10.9%) than 11th-grade male (8.2%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 13.3% of heterosexual students; 27.1% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 22.0% of not sure students had been electronically bullied (Supplementary Table 28). The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (27.1%) and not sure (22.0%) than heterosexual (13.3%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (28.5%) than heterosexual (18.6%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (22.3%) and not sure (18.2%) than heterosexual (8.8%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual female (18.6%) than heterosexual male (8.8%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual female (28.5%) than gay and bisexual male (22.3%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

30. Prevalence and Trends in Cyberbullying of Young People and Bullying at US Public Schools

"In 2015, about 21 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). Of students ages 12–18, about 13 percent reported that they were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 12 percent reported being the subject of rumors; 5 percent reported that
they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose. Additionally, 4 percent of students reported
being threatened with harm, 3 percent reported that others tried to make them do things they did not want to do, and 2 percent reported that their property was
destroyed by others on purpose.

"In 2015, a higher percentage of female than of male students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (23 vs. 19 percent), as well as being the subject of rumors (15 vs. 9 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of male than of female students reported being threatened with harm (5 vs. 3 percent).
"Higher percentages of Black students (25 percent) and White students (22 percent) than of Hispanic students (17 percent) reported being bullied at school in 2015. The percentage of students who reported being made fun of, called names, or insulted was also higher for Black students (17 percent) and White students (14 percent) than for Hispanic students (9  percent). The percentage of students who reported being the subject of rumors was higher for Black students (14 percent), White students (13 percent), and Hispanic students (10 percent) than for Asian students (5 percent).

Notes:
“Bullying” includes students who responded that another student had made fun of them, called them names, or insulted them; spread rumors about them; threatened them with harm; tried to make them do something they did not want to do; excluded them from activities on purpose; destroyed their property on purpose; or pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on them.
“At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
“Cyberbullying” includes students who responded that another student had posted hurtful information about them on the Internet; purposely shared private information about them on the Internet; threatened or insulted them through instant messaging; threatened or insulted them through text messaging; threatened or insulted them through e-mail; threatened or insulted them while gaming; or excluded them online.
In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), bullying was defined for respondents as “when one or more students tease, threaten, spread rumors about, hit, shove, or hurt another student over and over again.” “On school property” was not defined for survey respondents.
Being electronically bullied includes “being bullied through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, or texting.”

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

31. Prevalence Among High School Students in the US of Ever Having Injected a Drug, by Gender

"Nationwide, 1.5% of students had used a needle to inject any illegal drug into their body one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among male (2.0%) than female (0.8%) students; higher among white male (1.4%), black male (2.6%), and Hispanic male (2.1%) than white female (0.5%), black female (1.1%), and Hispanic female (0.9%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (2.1%) and 10th-grade male (1.9%) than 9th grade female (0.6%) and 10th-grade female (0.6%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among 12th-grade (1.9%) than 11th-grade (1.1%) students and higher among 12th-grade female (1.3%) than 11th-grade female (0.7%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 1.0% of heterosexual students; 3.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 6.1% of not sure students had ever injected any illegal drug (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (3.4%) and not sure (6.1%) than heterosexual (1.0%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (2.3%) than heterosexual (0.4%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (5.7%) and not sure (8.0%) than heterosexual (1.5%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual male (1.5%) than heterosexual female (0.4%) students and higher among gay and bisexual male (5.7%) than lesbian and bisexual female (2.3%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

32. "Drug-Infected" Public Schools

"Sixty percent of high school students and 32 percent of middle school students say that students keep, use or sell drugs on their school grounds. For seven of the past eight years, at least 60 percent of high school students have said they attend a drug-infected school."

QEV Analytics, LTD., "National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, August 2012), p. 5.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad...

33. Prevalence Among High School Students in the US of Having Ever Tried Cocaine, by Gender

"Nationwide, 4.8% of students had used any form of cocaine (e.g., powder, crack,†† or freebase§§) one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 114). The prevalence of having ever used cocaine was higher among male (6.1%) than female (3.5%) students; higher among white male (5.5%), black male (4.2%), and Hispanic male (8.1%) than white female (3.4%), black female (1.2%), and Hispanic female (4.6%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (3.6%), 10th-grade male (5.5%), 11th-grade male (6.6%), and 12th-grade male (8.7%) than 9th-grade female (2.3%), 10th-grade female (2.3%), 11th-grade female (4.1%), and 12th-grade female (5.3%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having ever used cocaine was higher among white (4.4%) and Hispanic (6.3%) than black (2.8%) students, higher among Hispanic (6.3%) than white (4.4%) students, higher among white female (3.4%) and Hispanic female (4.6%) than black female (1.2%) students, and higher among Hispanic male (8.1%) than white male (5.5%) and black male (4.2%) students. The prevalence of having ever used cocaine was higher among 12th-grade (7.0%) than 9th-grade (2.9%), 10th-grade (3.9%), and 11th-grade (5.4%) students; higher among 11th-grade (5.4%) than 9th-grade (2.9%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (4.1%) and 12th-grade female (5.3%) than 9th-grade female (2.3%) and 10th-grade female (2.3%) students; higher among 11th-grade male (6.6%) and 12th-grade male (8.7%) than 9th-grade male (3.6%) students; and higher among 12th-grade male (8.7%) than 10th-grade male (5.5%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 4.2% of heterosexual students; 8.0% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 10.4% of not sure students had ever used cocaine (Supplementary Table 114). The prevalence of having ever used cocaine was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (8.0%) and not sure (10.4%) than heterosexual (4.2%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (5.6%) than heterosexual (3.0%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (14.6%) and not sure (15.1%) than heterosexual (5.2%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual male (5.2%) than heterosexual female (3.0%) students, higher among gay and bisexual male (14.6%) than lesbian and bisexual female (5.6%) students, and higher among not sure male (15.1%) than not sure female (6.0%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

34. Illegal or Improper Use of Prescription Drugs by High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 14.0% of students had taken prescription pain medicine (counting drugs such as codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, Hydrocodone, and Percocet) without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 127)). The prevalence of having ever taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it was higher among Hispanic (15.1%) than black (12.3%) students and higher among Hispanic female (16.1%) than black female (12.5%) students. The prevalence of having ever taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it was higher among 11th-grade (15.4%) and 12th-grade (17.0%) than 9th-grade (10.9%) students, higher among 12th-grade (17.0%) than 10th-grade (12.8%) students, higher among 11th-grade female (16.4%) and 12th-grade female (16.2%) than 9th-grade female (12.1%) students, higher among 11th-grade male (14.3%) and 12th-grade male (17.7%) than 9th-grade male (9.7%) students, and higher among 12th-grade male (17.7%) than 10th-grade male (12.2%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 12.9% of heterosexual students; 24.3% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 17.7% of not sure students had ever taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it (Supplementary Table 127). The prevalence of having ever taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (24.3%) and not sure (17.7%) than heterosexual (12.9%) students and higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (24.3%) than not sure (17.7%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (23.8%) than heterosexual (12.9%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (25.4%) than heterosexual (12.8%) and not sure (13.7%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

35. Drugs Sold at School

"Almost half of high school students (44 percent) know a student who sells drugs at their school. When asked what drugs are sold at their school:

• 91 percent said marijuana;
• 24 percent said prescription drugs;
• 9 percent said cocaine; and
• 7 percent said ecstasy."

QEV Analytics, LTD., "National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, August 2012), p. 2.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad...

36. Early Drug Exposure and Later Drug Use

"The teen brain is a work in progress, making it more vulnerable than the mature brain to the physical effects of drugs. The potential for developing substance abuse and dependence is substantially greater when an individual’s first exposure to alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs occurs during adolescence than in adulthood."

Steinberg, L., Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Temple University and author of "You and Your Adolescent: The Essential guide for ages 10 to 25" (personal communication, June 9, 2011), as quoted in "Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, June 2011), p. 13.
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37. Children in the US With a Parent Who Has Ever Been Incarcerated

"The increase in U.S. incarceration rates means that a sizable number of children experience parental incarceration. Between 5 million and 8 million children have had a resident parent (most often a father) incarcerated in jail, state prison, or federal prison, and this number excludes children with parents under other forms of correctional supervision such as probation or parole (Murphey & Cooper, 2015). A growing research literature conceptualizes parental incarceration as an adverse childhood experience (ACE) with considerable deleterious consequences for children's wellbeing (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015). Children exposed to parental incarceration, compared to their counterparts not exposed to parental incarceration, experience disadvantages across behavioral, educational, and health outcomes (for reviews, see Foster & Hagan, 2015; Johnson & Easterling, 2012; Murray, Farrington, & Sekol, 2012).

"Importantly, given social inequalities in exposure to criminal justice contact, many children of incarcerated parents are a demographically and socioeconomically disadvantaged group even prior to the experience of parental incarceration. For example, parental incarceration is more common among children of disadvantaged race/ethnic groups; about one-fourth (24%) of Black children and one-tenth (11%) of Hispanic children experience parental incarceration by age 17, compared to 4% of White children (Sykes & Pettit, 2014). Parental incarceration is also concentrated among children living in households with incomes below the poverty line, children of unmarried parents, and children residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods (Foster & Hagan, 2015; Wakefield & Wildeman, 2013)."

Kristin Turney, Adverse childhood experiences among children of incarcerated parents, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 89, 2018, Pages 218-225, ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chil....
http://www.sciencedirect.com/s...

38. Vulnerability of Teens to Effects of Drugs

"The teen brain is a work in progress, making it more vulnerable than the mature brain to the physical effects of drugs. The potential for developing substance abuse and dependence is substantially greater when an individual’s first exposure to alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs occurs during adolescence than in adulthood."

Steinberg, L., Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Temple University and author of You and Your Adolescent: The Essential guide for ages 10 to 25 (personal communication, June 9, 2011), as quoted in "Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, June 2011), p. 13.
http://www.casacolumbia.org...

39. Likelihood That Young People with Diagnosed Mental Health Conditions Will be Put on Long Term Opioid Therapy

"In this nationwide study of commercially insured adolescents, LTOT [Long Term Opioid Therapy] was relatively uncommon. The estimated incidence of LTOT receipt was 3.0 per 1000 adolescents within 3 years of filling an initial opioid prescription. Although adolescents with a wide range of preexisting mental health conditions and treatments were modestly more likely than adolescents without those conditions or treatments to receive an initial opioid, the former had substantially higher rates of subsequent transitioning to LTOT. Associations were strongest for OUD [Opioid Use Disorder], OUD medications, nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics, and other SUDs. The associations were stronger sooner after first opioid receipt for OUD, as well as for anxiety and sleep disorders and their treatments, suggesting that adolescents with these conditions and treatments were more likely to quickly transition into LTOT."

Quinn PD, Hur K, Chang Z, et al. Association of Mental Health Conditions and Treatments With Long-term Opioid Analgesic Receipt Among Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(5):423–430. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.5641
https://jamanetwork.com/journa...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

40. Proportion of Students Using Any Drug Changes Slowly

"Overall, these data reveal that, while use of individual drugs (other than marijuana) may fluctuate widely, the proportion using any of them is much more stable. In other words, the proportion of students prone to using such drugs and willing to cross the normative barriers to such use changes more gradually. The usage rate for each individual drug, on the other hand, reflects many more rapidly changing determinants specific to that drug: how widely its psychoactive potential is recognized, how favorable the reports of its supposed benefits are, how risky its use is seen to be, how acceptable it is in the peer group, how accessible it is, and so on."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2012. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 10.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

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