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TOP TEN SCARIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH 10. Prune-eating Sumo wrestler.9. High-rise window cleaner with bladder problem.8. Near sighted knife juggler.7. Megalomaniac Third World Dictator.6. Grown men named "Biff."5. Heavily armed hot dog vendors.4. Carsick brother in the seat next to you.3. Brain surgeon with hiccups.2. Anyone with a cranky disposition and a chainsaw.1. People who offer you drugs.PARTNERSHIP FOR A DRUG-FREE AMERICA
Student drug use is not confined to the weekends or afterschool. Nearly nine out of 10 high school students (86 percent) say that some classmates drink, use drugs and smoke during the school day, and they estimate that 17 percent of their classmates are doing so.
Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana Use Common among Classmates Nearly all high school students (97 percent) say that some classmates use drugs (including marijuana and controlled prescription drugs), drink alcohol, and smoke cigarettes. When asked how many classmates drink, use drugs and smoke, on average, high school students said: 47 percent drink alcohol; 40 percent use drugs; and 30 percent smoke cigarettes.
FAX CESAR October 29, 2012 Vol. 21, Issue 43 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k About One-Third to One-Half of Youth Report That They Can Get Alcohol, Cigarettes, Prescription Drugs to Get High, or Marijuana Within a Day or Less Between 31% and 50% of youth ages 12 to 17 report that they can get alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs to get high, or marijuana within a day or less, according to data from the 2012 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse. Alcohol and cigarettes were the most readily accessible substances, with 50% and 44%, respectively, of youth reporting that they could obtain them within a day. Youth were least likely to report that they could get marijuana within a day (31%); 45% report that they would be unable to get marijuana at all. It will be interesting to see if reported access to marijuana increases if more states pass medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization laws. While marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, 17 states and the District of Columbia have some type of law allowing for the medical use of marijuana and 14 states have some type of marijuana decriminalization law. Medical marijuana laws are on the ballot in two states (Arkansas and Massachusetts) in the coming election, and initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational use are on the ballot in three states (Colorado, Washington, and Oregon). Percentage of U.S. Youths Reporting How Long It Would Take Them to Get Alcohol, Cigarettes, Prescription Drugs to Get High, or Marijuana, 2012 (n=1,003 youths ages 12 to 17) *Respondents were asked “If you wanted to get [cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs in order to get high] right now, how long would it take you to get them: an hour or less, a few hours, within a day, within a week, longer than a week, or would you be unable to get them?” NOTES: Data are from a random sample of households in the 48 continental states who had a person ages 12 to 17 living in the household. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted between April 18 and May 17, 2012 with 1,003 youths who were randomly selected from the nationally representative household sample frame. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level (unadjusted for weighting).
FAX CESAR November 12, 2012 Vol. 21, Issue 45 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k 60% of High School Students Report Drugs Are Used, Kept, or Sold in Their Schools For the sixth year in a row, 60% or more of high school students report that drugs are used, kept, or sold on their school grounds, according to a telephone survey of U.S. youth ages 12 to 17. While the percentage of students reporting that there are drugs in their school has decreased from the high of 66% in 2010 to 60% in 2012, the current percentage remains higher than a decade ago (44%; see figure below). The survey also found that 36% of high school students believe that it is fairly or very easy for students to smoke, drink or use drugs during the day at their school without getting caught and more than half (52%) say that there is a place on school grounds or near their school where students go to smoke, drink, or use drugs during the school day (data not shown). Percentage of High School Students Reporting That Drugs Are Used, Kept, or Sold on Their School Grounds, 2002-2012 NOTES: Data are from a random sample of households in the 48 continental states who had a person ages 12 to 17 living in the household. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted between April 18 and May 17, 2012 with 1,003 youths who were randomly selected from the nationally representative household sample frame. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level (unadjusted for weighting).
FAX CESAR January 14, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 2 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k Marijuana Use Continues to Increase as Perceived Risk of Use Decreases Among U.S. High School Seniors The percentage of U.S. high school seniors reporting past month marijuana use continues to gradually increase, according to the most recent data from the national Monitoring the Future (MTF) study. In 2012, 22.9% of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past month, a 25% increase since the most recent low of 18.3% in 2006 (see figure below). While the current prevalence of marijuana use is far below the peak of 37.1% in 1978, it has returned to a level not seen since the late 1990s. According to the study’s principal investigator, “one important variable that has been a lead indicator of use—namely the amount of risk teenagers perceived to be associated with marijuana use—continued its sharp decline in 2012 among teens, which would suggest further increases in use in the future” (University of Michigan, 2012). The percentage of high school seniors who thought there was a great risk of harm from regular marijuana use decreased from 57.9% in 2006 to 44.1% in 2012—the lowest level since 1979. Dr. Robert DuPont, the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), suggests that “the recent legalization of marijuana use . . . in Colorado and Washington State, and the legalization of ‘medical’ marijuana in 18 states and the District of Columbia will lead to further decreases in youth perception of risk from harm” (IBH, 2012). Percentage of U.S. Twelfth Grade Students Reporting Past Month Marijuana Use and a Perceived Great Risk of Harm from Regular Marijuana Use, 1975-2012 .
FAX CESAR February 11, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 6 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k Marijuana Remains Drug Most Commonly Detected Among D.C. Juvenile Arrestees; 1% or Less Test Positive for Cocaine or PCP While marijuana remains the drug most commonly detected among Washington, D.C. juvenile arrestees, marijuana-positive rates have decreased in the past few years. According to data from the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency, the percentage of juvenile arrestees testing positive for marijuana decreased from the most recent peak of 55% in 2010 to 47% in 2012. The percentage testing positive for cocaine has also been gradually decreasing since the late 1990s, and is now virtually nonexistent at 0.2%. PCP-positive rates, which have fluctuated greatly in the past, declined to 1% in 2012, a rate not seen since 1990 and 1991. Editor’s Note: It is possible that D.C. juvenile arrestees are using drugs other than the four (marijuana, PCP, cocaine, and amphetamines) for which they are currently being tested. For example, the prevalence of nonmedical use of prescription opioids among youth and young adults in other populations suggests that juvenile arrestees may also be misusing these drugs. Synthetic marijuana is another substance that juvenile arrestees may be using. The 2012 national Monitoring the Future survey found that 11% of 12th graders, 9% of 10th graders, and 4% of 8th graders reported using synthetic marijuana in the past year. Percentage of Washington, D.C., Juvenile Arrestees Testing Positive by Urinalysis for Cocaine, Marijuana, and PCP, 1987 to 2012 (The annual number of specimens tested ranged from 1,896 in 2002 to 4,449 in 1988.) NOTE: D.C. juvenile arrestees have also been tested for amphetamines since August, 2006. The percentage testing positive for amphetamines was 0.6% in 2006; 2.7% in 2007; 1.8% in 2008; 0.9% in 2009; 0.4% in 2010; 0.9% in 2011; and 0.6% in 2012.
FAX CESAR April 29, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 17 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k Synthetic Marijuana Third Most Reported Substance Used by U.S. High School Students More high school students report using synthetic marijuana than any other substance besides alcohol and marijuana, according to data from a recently released survey of 9th to 12th graders. Alcohol and marijuana were the most prevalent drug used, with 57% reporting alcohol use and 39% reporting marijuana use in the past year in 2012. The third most prevalent substance used was synthetic marijuana (12%), often referred to as K2 or Spice. Use of all other substances was reported by 10% or less of high school students. Similar results have been found by other surveys of high school students (see CESAR FAX, Volume 21, Issue 5). Editor’s Note: Synthetic marijuana products typically consist of plant material treated with synthetic cannabinoids, psychoactive substances designed to bind to and stimulate the same receptors in the brain as THC. Synthetic marijuana use in general has been linked with adverse effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, agitation, and acute kidney injury (see CESAR FAX, Volume 20, Issue 17 and Volume 22, Issue 7). However, there are more than 140 different types1 of synthetic cannabinoids, each with potentially different potency as well as adverse effects2. The exact synthetic cannabinoids contained in synthetic marijuana products is impossible to determine without specific testing—studies have shown that the types and amounts of synthetic cannabinoids can vary greatly between products, lots, and even within the same package3. In reality, youth who report using synthetic marijuana likely have no idea what specific synthetic cannabinoid they are using or what the effects will be. Percentage of U.S. Students (Grades 9 to 12) Reporting Past Year Alcohol and Other Drug Use, 2012 (N=3,884) NOTES: Abuse of inhalants and OTC cough medicine is defined as use to get high. Abuse of prescription drugs is defined as use without a doctor’s prescription. Surveys were conducted in schools by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications with 3,884 9th to 12th grade students from February to June 2012.. The margin of error is +/- 2.1 percentage points. 1Hudson S, Ramsey J, “The Emergency and Analysis of Synthetic Cannabinoids,” Drug Testing and Analysis 3(7-8):466-478, 2011. 2United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Synthetic Cannabinoids in Herbal Products, 2011. 3Hillebrand, J, et al., “Legal Highs on the Internet,” Substance Use and Misuse, 45(3): 330-340, 2010. .
FAX CESAR May 6, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 18 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k U.S. High School Students Report Relaxation, Having Fun, and Feeling Good as Top Reasons for Misusing Prescription Drugs Nearly one-fourth (24%) of U.S. high school students reported using prescription drugs without a prescription in order to get high or change their mood, according to data from a recently released survey. Of these students, nearly one in five (18%) reported that the main reason they last misused a prescription drug was to help them relax, 16% reported it was to have fun, and 14% reported it was “because being high feels good.” Other responses included to help forget troubles, to deal with the pressures and stress of school, and because their friends were using. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that 70% of these students did not respond to the question, which is an unusually high percentage. When this same question was asked about alcohol use in a previous survey, only 28% did not respond to the question*. “What Was the Main Reason Why You Last Used a Prescription Drug Without a Prescription?” (N=3,884 U.S. High School Students Reporting Lifetime Use of a Prescription Drug Without a Prescription) NOTE: Responses do not add to 100% because respondents could choose more than one response.
FAX CESAR June 10, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 23 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k Study Suggests Parents May Underestimate Teen Misuse of Stimulant Medications “Parents’ awareness of their teens using ‘study drugs’ does not match self-reported use by teens,” according to a nationally representative household survey of parents of 13- to 17-year-olds. Only 1% of parents of teens who have never been prescribed a stimulant medication for ADHD believe that their teens have used such drugs to stay awake to study for an exam or to do homework, and 4% reported that they did not know. In contrast, recent national data from the Monitoring the Future survey show that 5% of 8th graders, 9% of 10th graders, and 12% of 12th graders report ever using stimulants such as Ritalin® or Adderall® without a prescription (see figures below). The study also found that only slightly more than one-fourth (27%) of parents of teens reported that they had talked to their teens about using non-prescribed stimulant medications (data not shown). While Only 1% of Parents Believe Their Teens Have Used a Stimulant to Stay Awake to Study for An Exam or To Do Homework . . . . . . Between 5% and 12% of 8th, 10th, and 12th Grade Teens Say They Have Ever Used Stimulants Without a Prescription NOTES: The National Poll on Children’s Health data is from a nationally representative household survey conducted by GfK Custom Research in January 2013 with a randomly selected, stratified group of 710 parents with a child age 13-17. The margin of error is +/- 1 to 5 percentage points. The Monitoring the Future data are from a survey of nationally representative samples of public and private secondary school students in the coterminous U.S. The sample sizes for the 2012 survey were about 15,700 (8th), 15,400 (10th), and 14,300 (12th).
FAX CESAR March 18, 2013 Vol. 22, Issue 11 A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research U n i v e r s i t y o f M a r y l a n d , C o l l e g e P a r k Decline in Past Month Alcohol Use Among U.S. 8th Graders Reaches Record Low; Decline Among 10th and 12th Graders May Have Stalled The percentage of 8th graders reporting past month use of alcohol reached a record low† in 2012, according to data from the national Monitoring the Future study. Approximately one-tenth (11%) of 8th graders reported drinking at least one sip of alcohol in the past month in 2012, compared to the peak prevalence of 26% in 1996. Past month prevalence rates among 10th and 12th graders reached record low levels in 2011, at 27% and 40%, respectively, but did not change significantly from 2011 to 2012 (see figure below). The decline in use among 12th graders in this survey is similar to the decline in past year use reported by college freshmen (see CESAR FAX, Volume 22, Issue 9). Percentage of U.S. 8th, 10th, and 12th Grade Students Reporting Past Month Alcohol Use, 1975-2012 *Difference between 2011 and 2012 is statistically significant at the .05 level. †Refers to record lows during the life of the survey. The Monitoring the Future survey began surveying 12th graders in 1975. Surveys of 8th and 10th graders were added in 1991.