There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that Cigarettes and Alcohol consumption has seen a steady decline in consumption among teenagers in USA. The bad news, however, is that Marijuana consumption has been increasing among teenagers 14 years – 18 years and older.
According to a report “Monitoring the Future” from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), claims that teenagers seem to have developed a tendency to abuse themselves with marijuana as compared to alcohol and cigarettes.
Dr. Nora D.Volkow – director of NIDA – reports that while it’s welcome news that the cigarette usage over the years has declined, they now hold steady. Other tobacco products have been used steadily over the past few years now. However, he points out that teenage marijuana abuse is on the rise.
Statistics from a feature on Medical News Today , reveals that about 6.6% 12th-graders are reported to have marijuana daily, while a whopping 36% of them admit that they have had marijuana in the last 12 months.
As with cigarettes, over 20% of 12th-graders admit to have smoked cigarettes in the previous 4 weeks which is much lesser than 36.5% in 97’ and 21.6% in 2006.
Alcohol consumption is more prevalent. 63.5% of 12th-graders admit to have consumed alcohol during the last 12 months versus 74% in 1997.
According to Gil Kerlikowske, the director of National Drug Control Policy, the rise of substance abuse is alarming. K2 and spice, for instance, are dangerous drugs that the teenagers and young adults are increasingly showing proclivity towards. He opines that parents are often the first point of contact and play an instrumental role in shaping their wards’ young lives.
To help disseminate information to prevent increased substance abise, NIDA plans to put up a lot of information on their website dedicated for teens. The website is expected to have interactive videos, articles, and expert opinions to understand the risks associated with such substance intake. The articles and the NIDA blog also encourage feedback. Similarly, videos on Youtube and Facebook also help in information dissemination.
Strict prevention and controls are the dire necessity of the day to help keep substance abuse in check. NIDA and other drug control authorities obviously feel that the actual work begins at home.