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NIDA Notes Articles: Trends and Statistics

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Although Relatively Few, “Doctor Shoppers” Skew Opioid Prescribing

May 2014

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.

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

April 2014

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.

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Problem Behaviors Can Signal Risk in Prescribing Opioids to Teens

July 2013

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.

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Adolescent Cigarette, Alcohol Use Declines as Marijuana Use Rises

February 2013

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.

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Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment

July 2012

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.

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Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows

July 2012
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.

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Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

June 2012

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.

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Tobacco Smokers Have High Probability of Transition to Dependence

April 2012
First-time smokers have a much higher chance of eventually becoming dependent than first-time users alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine.

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Teenage Marijuana Use Is on the Rise

March 2011

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.

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Drug Abuse at Highest Level in Nearly a Decade

December 2010

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

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