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NIDA. (2005, December 19). Monitoring the Future Survey, Overview of Findings 2005. Retrieved from

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December 19, 2005

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The Good News

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  • Overall, the results are positive. While there was no substantive change in any illicit drug use between 2004 and 2005, there has been an approximately 19% decline over the last four years in any illicit drug use in the past month by students in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades combined. (See figure.)
  • Cigarette smoking is at its lowest rate in the history of the survey. In 2005, declines were observed in lifetime cigarette use among 12th and 8th graders and in daily use among 12th graders. Disapproval of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day increased among 12th graders. These finding are particularly notable since nicotine is often used before any other drugs of abuse, and tobacco addiction is one of the leading contributors to many of our Nation's public health problems.
  • Alcohol use in the past year decreased among 8th graders and 12th graders, and use in the past month decreased among 10th graders.
  • Decreases were seen in the past month, past year, and lifetime use of methamphetamine among 12th graders and in lifetime use among 10th graders.
  • Amphetamine use in the past month, past year, and lifetime decreased among 12th graders.
  • Since 2004, past year and past month steroid use decreased among 12th graders. Between 2001 and 2005 lifetime and past year steroid use decreased in all grades.
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  • Between 2001 and 2005 lifetime use of marijuana decreased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Past year, past month, and daily use also declined among 8th and 10th graders since 2001.
  • Lifetime use of MDMA (Ecstasy) and LSD, and past year use of GHB decreased among 12th graders from 2004 to 2005.
  • The perception of the availability of LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), hallucinogens other than LSD, amphetamines, and tranquilizers decreased among 12th graders and perception of availability of steroids decreased among 8th graders.

Areas of Concern

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  • A main area of concern is the continued high rates of nonmedical use of prescription pain killers (i.e., Vicodin and OxyContin) in each grade. In 2005, nonmedical use of Vicodin and OxyContin within the past year was reported by 9.5% and 5.5% of 12th grade students, respectively. Long term trends show an increase in the abuse of OxyContin from 2002 to 2005 among 12th graders.
  • Also of concern is the increase in the use of sedatives/barbiturates (sleeping pills) among 12th graders since 2001.
  • Between 2002 and 2005 lifetime and past year use of inhalants increased among 8th graders. This troubling trend should give us cause for concern, especially since these substances are abused more often by younger students compared to older students.

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