Report: Teen Drug Use Is Down Nationally And In Indiana

Dec 14, 2017

A new report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse finds teens are using many substances at historically low rates and Indiana teens are in line with national trends.

The annual Monitoring the Future study has tracked drug use trends for eighth, 10th and 12th graders for over 40 years.

This year marks the lowest rates of illicit drug use, including prescription opioids. But vaping is on the rise and Indiana Youth Institute President Tami Silverman says that lines up with their Kids Count data.

“One of our 2016 data points puts vaping products at the second highest use after only alcohol for our Indiana high school students,” Silverman says.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Deputy Director Wilson Compton says parents and communities are just waking up to the vaping trend.

“These are the new routes of administration for marijuana, nicotine, or other substances by teens,” Compton says.

Marijuana use remains consistent for 12th graders at about 23 percent nationwide; Indiana data puts it at about 20 percent.

Likewise, binge drinking has leveled off with more than 16 percent of 12th graders in the U.S. reporting. Indiana marks it slightly higher at 17.5 percent.

Compton says better messaging has helped.

“Large scale public health campaigns, there’s been a good deal of prevention work on the neighborhood and local level,” he says.

Silverman says the national report is encouraging.

“It’s going to take the family, the school and the community working together to make sure we keep these markers moving in the right direction,” Silverman says.