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Originally Published on Public School Review

Despite popular community and school programs that condemn the use and abuse of drugs, research and reports reveal that teen drug use is on the rise. As published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researcher Neil Swan illuminates the many problems arising in teen behavior and drug usage habits. According to Swan’s report: “The percentage of America’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders who use marijuana continued to increase last year […] Students’ use of several other categories of drugs also escalated, while anti-drug attitudes among teenagers deteriorated, the survey found.”   

As the perceived harm of drugs dwindles, and as teens encounter drugs on a more regular basis either in schools, the media or in their personal lives, experts fear that the harmful patterns of teen drug abuse will continue to escalate.   

Teens and Drug Abuse

When Do Drug Habits Begin? 

While drug abuse can begin at any age, recent studies reveal that both middle school students and high school students are engaging in harmful drug abuse behaviors. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future survey, the use of prescription drug pain killers and inhalants are increasing among teens. For example, OxyCotin, a powerful narcotic, was used by 9.3% of 12th graders, 6.2% of 10th graders, and 2.5% of 8th graders in 2004 – all higher levels than prior years.