Drug Education Essential for Youth

The consistent education for teens susceptible to drug use and abuse is important in order to win the war on drugs. As a recent news release highlights, there is clear evidence that more kids need to be reached with effective information and prevention tools.

The Monitoring the Future survey is a research project carried out every year by the University of Michigan. The survey examines 50,000 middle and high school youth throughout the nation and then prints a report on drug use by America’s young people.

The behavior and attitudes that are captured in the survey and then printed in the report provide critical advance notice of adult drug use and addition that is likely to occur a few years down the road. Changes in trends provide information as to the effectiveness of the message.

The latest report was released in December 2009 and showed that overall drug use has risen slightly, mainly due to the rise in marijuana use. At the same time, the high rate of prescription drug abuse remained stable among students in their senior year of high school.

Figures show that the rate of narcotic use other than heroin has more than doubled since 1992. For every 100 students, 13 of them have abused prescription medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Lortab or methadone.

Teens are also abusing prescription drugs such as amphetamines, sedatives and tranquilizers. While Ritalin was once the drug of choice among abusers, the shift has moved more toward Adderall.

Perhaps even more disturbing is how teens are able to get their hands on their drug of choice. More than half are able to get their drugs for free from a friend or relative. Another third purchased the drug from a friend or relative and 20 percent took it without asking.