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Surge in Teen Drug Use

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The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse is conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Highlights of the survey, which monitors trends in drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, follow:

  • Overall illicit-drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds has doubled since 1992 on a percentage basis. In 1995, 10.9 percent of children in that age group reported using an illicit drug in the past month, up from 5.3 percent in 1992.
  • The percentage of 12- to 17-years-olds who reported using marijuana in the past month jumped from 3.4 percent in 1992 to 8.2 percent in 1995.
  • The use of cocaine and hallucinogenic drugs among teenagers also has been increasing. From 1994 to 1995, the percentage of teenagers who reported using hallucinogens in the past month rose from 1.1 percent to 1.7 percent. Cocaine use among the same population increased from 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent during that period.
  • Also during 1994 to 1995, the total number of illicit-drug users in the United States--an estimated 12.6 million people--did not increase significantly.

Further information is available from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at (800) 729-6686; Web site:

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