In December, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released their latest and largest survey of youth drug use today. The 2012 Monitoring the Future study, a annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the United States, has found that in the past month, there was no change in the use of illicit drugs among youth. However, over a six-year period from 2007 to 2012 increases were noted.
According to the survey, with the premise that educating young people about the risk will influence use, the survey found a slight decrease in 8th and 10th graders when it came to marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy use; but found 12th-graders had an increase on using heroin without a needle.
The survey showed the use of prescription drugs in all three grades had declined, with no change in the rate of the use of Oxycontin or Vicodin between 2011 and 2012 for any grade. The use of synthetic drugs such as “K2” or “Spice” and bath salts products was shown to have the highest reported number of calls nationwide to the poison control centers. Showing that eighth-graders use of these illicit drugs ranked third, while 10th and 12th-graders use of these illicit drugs ranked second after marijuana.
According to the survey, boys used illicit drugs at a higher rate than girls, except in the eighth grade, where use showed similar rates. It also showed that Hispanic eighth-graders had higher rates of annual use of any illicit drug.