Teens’ recreational drug use the antithesis of “brain doping”

According to a national surveyPDF conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, U.S. teenagers chasing a high are using less alcohol and fewer CMS stimulant drugs, while marijuana use is holding steady and opioid and sedative abuse is on the rise.
The 34th annual survey of 46, 348 8th-, 10th, and 12th-graders–part of the “Monitoring the Future” series funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) via the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)–revealed that the use of amphetamines, methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack by teenagers continues to show a gradual decline. On the other hand, the use of LSD and “club drugs” like MDMA (Ecstasy), which had been dropping off in recent years, has plateaued, while the use of prescription and non-prescription narcotics, tranquilizers, sedatives (including barbiturates), ketamine, Rohypnol, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) remain near recent peak levels.
Alcohol and cigarette use show slight recent declines, with the use of alcohol in particular remaining well below its 1990s peak.
Encouraging was the finding that since the peak of anabolic steroid use in 2001-2002, the annual prevalence rate has dropped by more than half among 8th and 10th grade males, and by one third among 12th grade males. During that interval, there has been an increase in the proportion of 12th-grade males who see “great risk” in trying steroids. I’d like to think the nastiness bleeding out of the BALCO mess at least seeped into the public consciousness of America’s young people in a way that gave them real pause.

  1. #1 by llewelly on December 14, 2008 - 12:21 pm

    Except for the tiny fact that some teens use Ritalin recreationally, and some college students and profs use Ritalin for its ‘cognitive benefits’ .

  2. #2 by llewelly on December 14, 2008 - 12:24 pm

    And I should furthermore add – today in America, nearly everyone pretends they use caffeine for its ‘productivity benefits’. But in nearly all previous caffeine using cultures, it was seen as a substance that made people happy – and that was the primary reason for its use.

    I’m inclined to be skeptical of those who claim they’re doing ‘brain doping’ rather than recreational use.

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