Number of Adolescents Using Marijuana on an Average Day Vastly Exceeds Half of the Number of All Students Registered in New York City Schools
On an average day, nearly 1.2 million teenagers smoked cigarettes, 631,000 drank, and 586,000 used marijuana, according to the latest data, in a first-of-a kind report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The report, which highlights the substance abuse behavior and addiction treatment activities that occur among adolescents on an average day, draws on national surveys conducted and analyzed by SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies.
The report, A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts, presents a stark picture of the daily toll substance abuse takes on America’s young.
Among the report’s major findings is that on any given day during 2006 nearly 1.2 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, 631,000 drank alcohol, 586,000 used marijuana. In addition, each day nearly 50,000 adolescents used inhalants, 27,000 used hallucinogens, 13,000 used cocaine and 3,800 used heroin.
To provide some perspective on these figures, the nationwide number of adolescents using marijuana on an average day equals more than half the total number of students enrolled in New York City’s public school system during the 2006-07 school year.
“While other studies have shown that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of substance abuse among young people in the last few years, this report shows many young people are still engaging in risky behavior,” said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D.
Cline spoke at the Double Jeopardy CASACONFERENCE on co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorder in young people at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
“By breaking the data down and analyzing it on a day-to-day basis, we gain a fresh perspective on how deeply substance abuse pervades the lives of many young people and their families,” Cline said.
* Nearly 8,000 adolescents drank alcohol for the first time;
* Approximately 4,300 adolescents used an illicit drug for the first time;
* Around 4,000 adolescents smoked cigarettes for the first time;
* Nearly 3,600 adolescents used marijuana for the first time; and
* Approximately 2,500 adolescents abused pain relievers for the first time.
The report also analyzes the most recent available data to indicate how many people under age 18 were receiving treatment for a substance abuse problem during an average day in 2005. These numbers included:
* Over 76,000 in outpatient treatment,
* More than 10,000 in non-hospital residential treatment, and
* Over 1,000 in hospital inpatient treatment.
This report was drawn from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set, and SAMHSA’s National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and contains many other important facts about adolescent substance abuse, treatment and treatment admissions patterns.
The full report is available at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/youthFacts/youth.cfm Copies may be obtained free of charge by calling SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov
SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity, and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.