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Epidemiology

Although Relatively Few, “Doctor Shoppers” Skew Opioid Prescribing

One out of every 143 U.S. patients who received a prescription for an opioid painkiller in 2008 obtained prescriptions from multiple physicians in a pattern that suggests misuse or abuse of the drugs.

Epidemiology

In Nationwide Survey, More Students Use Marijuana, Fewer Use Other Drugs

Almost one-third (32 percent) of the roughly 42,000 Monitoring the Future survey respondents reported having used marijuana during their lifetime. However, abuse of many other drugs—methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and some prescription medications—declined.

Epidemiology

Problem Behaviors Can Signal Risk in Prescribing Opioids to Teens

Researchers found that 1 in 8 high school seniors had used a prescription opioid nonmedically, and 70 percent of these teens had compounded the attendant risk by co-ingesting an opioid with one or more other drugs. Nonmedical opioid use was significantly more prevalent among whites than among African Americans or Hispanics.

Epidemiology

Adolescent Cigarette, Alcohol Use Declines as Marijuana Use Rises

Fewer teens are using cigarettes, alcohol, and most illicit drugs, according to NIDA’s latest Monitoring the Future study. Troubling  trends persist in marijuana use, however, and nonmedical prescription drug use remains a concern.

Treatment

Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment

Fewer than 12 percent of adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence receive any treatment, according to an analysis of data from the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most common reason the adolescents gave for not receiving treatment was their lack of perceived need for it.

Epidemiology

Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows

Rates of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking stood at historic lows in 2011, but marijuana use trended upward, according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.
Epidemiology

Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

Epidemiology

Tobacco Smokers Have High Probability of Transition to Dependence

First-time smokers have a much higher chance of eventually becoming dependent than first-time users alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine.
Epidemiology

Teenage Marijuana Use Is on the Rise

Reports 2010 rates of marijuana use among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students, noting that daily use increased by more than 10 percent in all three grades since the 2009 survey. Also reports a rise in ecstasy use.

Epidemiology

Drug Abuse at Highest Level in Nearly a Decade

Reports on 2009 data indicating a rise in drug abuse in the United States and the factors that may have contributed to this increase.

Epidemiology

Adolescent Cigarette Smoking Holds at Lowest Recorded Levels

Discusses 2009 prevalence rates of cigarette, alcohol, prescription drug, and illicit drug use among adolescents and discusses trends in use over time.

Epidemiology

Some Teens Reporting Nonmedical Use of Prescriptions Develop Disorders

Reports teen drug abuse based on 2006-2007 data from a national survey on drug use and health and compares differences by gender.
Epidemiology

Teens With Unhealthy Weight-Control Behavior Are More Likely to Abuse Drugs

Highlights data on unhealthy eating behaviors, such as fasting or purging, and substance abuse problems among teens.

Epidemiology

Substance Abuse and Sexual Risk Show Town-Gown Divide

Compares data on substance abuse and sexual risk among college students and their peers who do not attend college.

Epidemiology

United States Ranks First in Lifetime Use of Three Drugs

Highlights the disproportionately high rate of Americans who have used cocaine at some time during their lives as compared with other nations surveyed.

NIDA @ Work

DESPR Identifies Drug Abuse Trends and Seeks Solutions

Discusses the work of NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, organized to track drug use and provide empirically based information for researchers and service providers.
Epidemiology

Most People Entering Drug Treatment Have Additional Mental Health Problems

Highlights data on the prevalence of people entering substance abuse treatment programs who also reported having at least one co-occurring mental health problem.

Epidemiology

Smoking and Drinking Continue to Decline, But Marijuana Stalls in Latest MTF Survey

Highlights trends from a 2008 survey of teenage substance abuse, cigarette smoking and alcohol use and discusses the implications of these changing data.

Epidemiology

Lower Rates of Cigarette and Marijuana Smoking Among Exercising Teens

Highlights prevalence rates of cigarette and marijuana smoking among teens who exercise regularly as compared with their less active peers.

Epidemiology

Fewer Young Adults Abuse Cocaine and Methamphetamine, National Survey Finds

Reports prevalence rates of illicit drug abuse among youths and young adults based on 2007 data from a national survey of drug use and health.

Epidemiology

Reduced Longevity Among Male Heroin Abusers, 1962-1997

Reviews the changing lifespan of heroin abusers as compared with that of the general U.S. population based on 1962-1997 data.

Epidemiology

Teen Substance Abuse Continues to Decline

Reports on the prevalence of substance abuse among youth based on 2007 data from a national survey of behaviors, attitudes, and values.

Epidemiology

Adolescent Inhalant Use Is Stable Overall, but Rising Among Girls

Reports patterns and trends in inhalant use among adolescents based on an analysis of data from a 2002-2005 national survey on drug use and health.

Abstinent Patients Continue to Show Benefits of Treatment

Reports on data that reviewing the benefits of addiction treatment among abstinent men as compared with those who continued to abuse cocaine.

Latest Information on MDMA/Ecstasy, Steroids, and HIV/AIDS Is Available on NIDA's Web Site

Announces updates to research reports on MDMA/ecstasy and steroids and a new report on HIV/AIDS that provide the latest available information on drugs and drug-related topics.

GHB Intoxication Reports Decline in California

Highlights statistics on the number of reports of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) use intoxication in California from 1999 to 2003.

Studies Focus on Acculturation and Hispanic Youth

Summarizes a study that analyzes factors associated with the risk of drug addiction among 19- to 21-year-old Hispanic women born in the United States as compared with immigrants.
Basic Science

High School Seniors Steadily Increase Nonmedical Use of Sedatives Over 15 years

Highlights data from an annual national survey of youth showing a pattern of rising nonmedical use of sedatives among high school seniors.

Ethnicity Influences Early Smoking and Progression to Drug Abuse

Summarizes findings from a 10-year study that monitored smoking and progress to other drugs among youth that found ethnicity to be an influential factor.
Director's Perspective

Steroid Abuse Is a High-Risk Route to the Finish Line

Highlights research on the effects of steroid use on the brain and the rest of the body, and stresses the need to educate young people about the serious health risks associated with its use.

NIDA Notes

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