2019 Monitoring the Future Survey Reveals Shocking Statistics About Teen Drug Use
The results from the latest Monitoring the Future survey are in and the findings reveal some radical changes in the rates of teen drug use. Overall, alcohol and illicit drug use is down, but marijuana and e-cigarette use has drastically increased.
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Monitoring the Future survey studies 8th, 10th and 12th graders throughout the U.S. to learn more about teen drug statistics. The information is used to find and monitor new trends in teen drug use, such as the sharp increase in vaping discovered in the latest survey. The 2019 survey involved 42,531 students across the country.
Decline in Teen Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use
Though illicit drug use rates remained steady at 11.5% in 12th graders (not including marijuana), teen prescription drug abuse has decreased. Regarding prescription drugs, the survey shows:
- 1.1% of 12th graders use Vicodin, down from its peak of 10.5% in 2003
- 1.7% of 12th graders use OxyContin, down from its peak of 5.5% in 2005
- 3.9% of 12th graders use Adderall, down from 6.8% in 2014
However, Adderall misuse increased in 8th graders from 1.3% in 2014 to 2.5% in 2019.
- 52.2% of 12th graders reported past-year alcohol use, and 14.4% reported binge drinking
- 37.7% of 10th graders reported past-year alcohol use, and 8.5% reported binge drinking
- 19.3% of 8th graders reported past-year alcohol use, and 3.8% reported binge drinking
Large Increase in Teen Marijuana Use and Vaping
- 35.7% of 12th graders reported past-year marijuana use, and 6.4% reported daily use
- 28.8% of 10th graders reported past-year marijuana use, and 4.8% reported daily use
- 11.8% of 8th graders reported past-year marijuana use, and 1.3% reported daily use
Cigarette use has declined in high schoolers over the past decade, perhaps because many have switched to vaping with e-cigarettes. Among high schoolers:
- 11.7% of 12th graders reported vaping nicotine daily
- 6.9% of 10th graders reported vaping nicotine daily
- 1.9% of 8th graders reported vaping nicotine daily
Signs of Drug Use in Teens
A few telltale signs of teen addiction or substance use include:
- Changes in friends or peer groups
- Poor hygiene or careless grooming
- Declining performance at school
- Missing or skipping school
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Changes in eating or sleeping
- Deterioration of relationships with friends and family
If your teen is struggling with substance use or a co-occurring mental health disorder, Next Generation Village is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about teen drug treatment options that can work well for your child.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Monitoring the Future 2019 Survey Results: Overall Findings.” December 2019. Accessed February 7, 2020.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.” January 2014. Accessed February 7, 2020.
MedlinePlus. “Teenagers and drugs.” August 26, 2017. Accessed February 7, 2020.
Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.