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The Kids Are Alright: Drug Use Among Teens is Dropping

Teen, Drug Use, Decline

We at Dance Music Northwest are very vocal about the welfare of our fellow humans. We understand that some people want to use and/or abuse drugs and alcohol. Ultimately we don’t want anyone to do that, but we’re not here to judge you for your own personal decisions. That’s what personal responsibility is all about. So you can imagine our delight to hear that drug use has gone down significantly among teenagers. In a study released by the University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future Study (MTF), an annual survey tracking teen drug abuse among 40,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, has found a significant decline in most areas of drug use.

The MTF survey measures drug use and attitudes among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The survey has been conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor since 1975.


Key Takeaways From The Study:

  • Use of MDMA (known as Ecstasy and Molly) has been falling since 2010.
  • Cigarette smoking continued a decades­-long decline and reached the lowest levels since the study began. The percentage of students reporting they smoked in the past 30 days decreased for the three grades combined from 8% to 7% – a statistically significant drop.
  • The proportion of secondary school students using heroin has fallen gradually in the past few years, and it continued a gradual decrease in all three grades in 2015.
  • While most teens continue to report getting prescription medicine they abuse from friends or family members, one-third report getting them from their own prescriptions.
  • Alcohol use by the nation’s teens also continued its long-term decline in 2015. The three grades combined showed a further decline in the proportion of students reporting any alcohol use in the past year and also in the 30 days preceding the survey. In 2015, these rates are at 40% and 22%, respectively.


Of all the drugs in the study, marijuana is the only one that remained stable, and actually outpaces daily use of cigarettes. This is a first for the study. This is probably likely to the general acceptance of marijuana as a non-dangerous drug. In related news, CIGARETTE USE IS DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY! We really like that one, because lets face it, that drug fucking sucks.

The MTF also found that the abuse and/or misuse of prescription drugs has been in steady decline since 2005 for 12th graders. Prescription drug abuse is measured with an index that includes use of narcotics, sedatives, tranquilizers and/or amphetamines without medical supervision, and only 12th­ graders report on their use of all of these drugs. It is important to note that the non-medical use of Adderall is still very high. 12th graders are reporting at about 7.5% non medical use of the drug and 10th graders are at 5.2%.

“This year’s Monitoring the Future data continue the promising trends from last year with declining rates of adolescent substance use, and support the value of evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery, efforts to prevent drug use from ever starting are particularly important as we work to reduce the rising number of drug overdoses across the country. ” –National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli.

One of the contributing factors to this overall decline has been Above The Influence (ATI). ATI is a popular and proven alcohol and drug prevention initiative created for youths. Currently, ATI is the only initiative of its kind in the US. The group consists of around 1.5 million youths and has a very active and robust online community. Some may be thinking of the old program D.A.R.E., but this is one that actually works.  

If you would like to read the full report, you can head to this link here. We at Dance Music Northwest are pleased with the result of this study and encourage everyone to take part in making a better future for the kids. What do you think of the study? Is this good news? Tell us in the comments below.

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Written By

Phillip was raised on so many different genres of music, it has given him a unique perspective into the ever evolving music scene. Trance music began defining his life at the young age of 14, but thoroughly enjoys any type of music equally. He sees the music as an escape from the daily doldrums of life and says music can change a persons life in an instant pulling from his own experiences. His only goal in life is to share wonderful music with people and take electronic music to a higher plain with more accountability and creating a safer environment for his friends.

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