More Teens Abusing Marijuana, Prescription Drugs, Ecstasy

Marijuana use is up among American teenagers; in fact, one in 16 high school seniors told researchers that they smoke it every day. A new survey of 46,000 teens called Monitoring the Future found that they are experimenting more with the club drug ecstasy, and increasingly using cigarettes. However, their use of alcohol is at the lowest level in the 30 years of the annual survey.

Researchers from the University of Michigan conducted the study of students in 8th, 9th, and 12th grade, using a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Perhaps the most troublesome part of it is that daily use of marijuana increased significantly in all three grades in 2010," said Lloyd Johnston, leader researcher.

He believes that the reason for this change is that more teens believe marijuana is safe and that it is easier for them to obtain than alcohol. Johnston said that today’s teens have rediscovered the club drug ecstasy, and are using it more because they are less informed about its dangers, compared to their peers ten years ago.

A second study this time from the University of Rochester found that teens and young adults have more access to prescription drugs that are frequently abused. One in nine teens and one in six people in their twenties have prescriptions for painkillers, sedatives or stimulants.

Dr. Robert Fontana, lead author, used data obtained from 4304 doctors and 3856 clinics and emergency facilities.


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