Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses the 2017 MTF Results

Video length: 2:09


Dr. Volkow speaking: Well this year we have very good news because overall, we are observing that the pattern of drug use among teenagers in the United States is continued to go down and its most notable for example in the case of opioid drugs and this is of course of great interest because we're in the midst of an opioid crisis so there's been concern that teenagers would also be starting to take these drugs and suffer the consequences. But in fact, we are observing, for example, some of the lowest rates of opioid use that we have been monitoring through the, through the survey. So that's very good news but we're also seeing continued decreases in cigarette smoking that are at the lowest levels that we've ever seen. We're seeing decreases in all the other illicit substances. The only area we're not seeing decreases and we had observed that last year is marijuana so that despite the fact that drug use is decreasing basically across most of the drugs marijuana is quite stable. An area that we are we need to monitor very carefully is that more and more teenagers are using vaping devices in order to take drugs. Among 12th graders, the past year use of vaping is 27.8% and now we're asking through the survey what substances are they vaping and out of that 18.8 % of 12th graders reported that in the past year they vape nicotine. Why is this important? Because nicotine is addictive and studies have shown that when teenagers start to vape nicotine than they are at much higher risk of smoking tobacco of transferring into combustible tobacco, which is of course associated with very negative medical effects and to the extent that we do not know what is the nature, how…how well they know what they are taking and how it is easy once you start vaping a flavor to transfer into the drug this is these are behaviors that we need to look at very carefully.