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    Teen use of marijuana and alcohol rises

    Date: 03.17.10 | by Judge Tom.

    After a ten-year decline in the use of marijuana and alcohol,  a new study indicates the numbers are going up. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America released a study in February, 2010 after conducting a national survey in 2009 of approximately 3200 teenagers.

    The number of teens in grades 9 through 12 who reported drinking alcohol in the previous month rose 11% in 2009 – to 6.5 million teens. Marijuana use was reported by 25% of the teens surveyed. The study also found use of the party drug Ecstasy on the rise – 6% of the teens reported using it in the previous month.

    A higher percentage of teens report that being high feels good and that more teens reported having friends who usually get high at parties. Teen abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine remained stable from 2008 to 2009. Teen steroid  and heroin use remained low.

    Update:  In December, 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) issued its “Monitoring the Future” survey which is an annual look at youth’s drug and tobacco-use patterns and attitudes. There’s an uptick in marijuana use while a slight decline in cigarette smoking is reported. 21% of high school seniors said they had smoked pot in the month before the survey, while 19% reported smoking tobacco. At the same time the numbers of 8th and 10th graders smoking pot daily rose in 2010 over 2009. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, called the rise troubling due to the ongoing development of teen brains. Marijuana has been shown to be more damaging to memory and learning than less frequent use.

    Take a look at  http://www.drugfree.org/  for more information from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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