1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Percentage of Teens Who Use Drugs

Survey Numbers of Teen Drug Use in 2010


Quick Links: Teen Drug Use Resources | Quiz: Is Your Teenager Using Drugs?

Different organizations compose surveys and statistics about teen drug use, giving the public a general knowledge of the percentage of teens who use drugs. Parents can use these numbers to help create a strong platform to keep their kids safe in their community.

According to the NIDA's Monitoring the Future Survey in 2010:

"Measures of marijuana use increased among eighth-graders, and daily marijuana use increased significantly among all three grades. The 2010 use rates were 6.1 percent of high school seniors, 3.3 percent of 10th -graders, and 1.2 percent of eighth-graders compared to 2009 rates of 5.2 percent, 2.8 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively." When the percentage of a drug of choice like marijuana use increases at the young age level of 8th grade students, about 13-years-old teens, it often means that the drug use percentage among teens will continue to rise with that group as they get older.

"Survey also showed a significant increase in the reported use of MDMA, or Ecstasy, with 2.4 percent of eighth-graders citing past-year use, compared to 1.3 percent in 2009. Similarly, past-year MDMA use among 10th-graders increased from 3.7 percent to 4.7 percent in 2010."

"Binge drinking continued its downward trend. Among high school seniors, 23.2 percent report having five or more drinks in a row during the past two weeks, down from 25.2 percent in 2009 and from the peak of 31.5 percent in 1998. In addition, 2010 findings showed a drop in high school seniors' past-year consumption of flavored alcoholic beverages, to 47.9 percent in 2010 from 53.4 percent in 2009. Past-year use of flavored alcohol by eighth- graders was at 21.9 percent, down from 27.9 percent in 2005." I have to wonder if this is because teens are finding it harder and harder to get their hands on alcohol because it is regulated by the law and legal.

According to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS):

"Of those teens who reported alcohol use, a majority (62 percent) said they had their first full alcoholic drink by age 15, not including sipping or tasting alcohol. Those teens who reported alcohol use, one in four (25 percent), said they drank a full alcoholic drink for the first time by age 12 or younger. Among teens who reported drinking alcohol , the average age of first alcohol use was 14."

"The PATS survey also found that parents feel unprepared to respond to underage drinking by their children. Almost a third of parents (28 percent) feel "there is very little parents can do to prevent their kids from trying alcohol." One in three teens (32 percent) thinks their parents would be ok if they drank beer once in a while; yet only one in ten parents agrees with teens drinking beer at a party."

"Almost half of teens (45 percent) reported they do not see a "great risk" in heavy daily drinking. Only 31 percent of teens strongly disapprove of teens and peers their age getting drunk. A majority of teens, seven out of 10 (73 percent), report having friends who drink alcohol at least once a week."

According to the 2010 Dayton Area Drug Survey (DADS):

"Of the 3,049 twelfth graders surveyed, 71.8 percent reported drinking alcohol at least once in their lifetimes. Among the 55.2 percent who reported getting drunk at least once, 44.7 percent said they had done so 10 or more times. Some 26.7 percent of the respondents reported having had five or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion in the two weeks before the survey. Among the 3,753 ninth graders surveyed, 45.4 percent reported lifetime experience with alcohol. Of the 25.7 percent who had been drunk at least once, 19.7 percent had been drunk 10 or more times. Having five or more drinks in a row in the two weeks before the survey was reported by 9.1 percent. Of the 2,949 seventh graders, 22.3 percent had drunk alcohol at least once, 7.0 percent had been drunk at least once (with 8.2 percent of them drunk 10 or more times) and 2.4 percent had five or more drinks in a row in the two weeks before the survey." While the numbers aren't the same, the percentages in the the DADS survey match up with the national trends.

Here is what I found the most helpful from the DADS survey and I would love to see more of these types of numbers in the national reports: "DADS included a screening test for clinically defined problematic drug use, developed by physicians and other researchers at Harvard Medical School. Data from twelfth grade students responding to the screening test suggests that 17.5 percent have had or currently have substance use practices indicative of drug dependence."

Quick Links: Teen Drug Use Resources | Quiz: Is Your Teenager Using Drugs?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.