WASHINGTON — There’s reassuring news for parents of teenagers in the U.S.: Teen drug and alcohol use is at an all-time low.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, has been tracking the trends for decades with its “Monitoring the Future” annual report, and the latest data show that while marijuana use holds steady, cigarette, prescription drug and binge drinking rates among high schoolers have declined.
“It’s actually one of the myths that we’re trying to bust. The sense is that most kids want to use drugs, but the kids are telling us otherwise,” said Jack Stein, director of the Office of Science Policy and Communication at NIDA.
“Teens are using less substances across the board than ever before.”
Pinpointing the “why” behind the drop is what Stein calls “the million-dollar question.” Evolving attitudes and perceptions around drug abuse, as well…