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Monitoring the Future--National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2004

NCJ Number
Lloyd D. Johnston Ph.D.; Patrick M. O'Malley Ph.D.; Jerald G. Bachman Ph.D.; John E. Schulenberg Ph.D.
Date Published
April 2005
68 pages
This report presents key findings from the 2004 Monitoring the Future Survey, which annually measures drug usage in national samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the coterminous United States.
The 2002, 2003, and 2004 surveys have shown a decline in the use of a number of substances measured, notably marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, steroids, and cigarettes. Over recent years the proportion of older students reporting use of an illicit drug had been remaining steady. Only eighth graders had been showing gradual declines in use. In 2002, however, all grades showed some decline in use in all three prevalence periods (lifetime, past 12 months, and the past 30 days). These trends have continued into 2004. Inhalants as a class of drugs showed an increase in 2004, particularly among eighth graders. OxyContin, a drug in the general class of narcotics other than heroin, also showed evidence of increased use in all grades in 2003 and among 12th graders in 2004, although none of the increases reached statistical significance. The perceived risk of tobacco use, notably smoking, had changed little for 3 years, but increased significantly in 2004 for 8th and 10th graders and modestly for 12th graders. Disapproval of smoking continued to increase for all three grades. Alcohol use remains very widespread among teens; in 2004, 60 percent of the 12th graders and 20 percent of the 8th graders reported having been drunk at least once in their life. Although drinking among 8th and 10th graders continued to decline in 2004, heavy drinking increased slightly among 12th graders. 13 tables