Illegal drug use among secondary school students continued to decline in 2004, but the percentages of teenagers using inhalants and the painkiller OxyContin appear to be increasing, a new study concludes.
The study—sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted by the University of Michigan—surveyed 50,000 students in grades 8, 10, and 12. It found that overall drug use fell by 7 percent between 2003 and 2004, continuing a gradual decline that began in 2001. Cigarette smoking also continued to decline among all grades.
However, inhalant use by 8th graders increased between 2003 and 2004, from 15.8 percent to 17.3 percent. In addition, the report found a rising use of OxyContin, with 5 percent of 12th graders reporting they had used the drug.
A version of this article appeared in the January 05, 2005 edition of Education Week