New Report: Rx Abuse Down, but ‘Vaping’ Popular Among Teens

Last Updated: Monday, January 8, 2018

A recent survey on teen drug use revealed that while painkiller use is down, “vaping” (the use of e-cigarettes) is popular among teens.young person using e cigarette

The Monitoring the Future survey*, conducted each year, measures drug, alcohol and cigarette use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders.

According to the latest results, almost 30 percent of 12th graders reported using some kind of vaping device within the past year. And out of that group, a little more than 11 percent said they had vaped marijuana or hash oil.

"When you vape (NI) THC, you can actually vape at a very high concentration,"  NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow said during a recent podcast about the survey's findings. "And the higher the concentration of THC, the higher the likelihood of addiction and adverse medical consequences. "

In addition, past year marijuana use (when data is combined from all three grade levels) increased slightly – from 22.6 percent to 23.9 percent.

However, in encouraging news, the number of teens misusing painkillers has decreased during the last decade. For example, the survey found that 4.2 percent of 12th graders misused pain medication during the past year. This percentage is down from its highest point in 2004, which was 9.5 percent.

Read more about the survey results.



*This year, more than 43,000 students from 360 public and private school from across the nation participated in the survey, which is sponsored by NIDA and conducted by the University of Michigan.


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