February 2017 – The image of the rebellious teenager may be evolving as fewer teens (17-year-olds and younger) are doing drugs than ever before, since such records have been kept. Experts hypothesize that this may be due to the decline in smoking, which is often a gateway to other harmful substances such as marijuana and alcohol.
According to University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, 37.3% of twelfth graders in 2016 admitted to being drunk at least once, as opposed to 53.2% in 2001. Few reasons for the decline have been found, but some experts suggest that an increase in activities such as video games and social media may have been a contributing factor, taking up time that would have been otherwise spent around friends who might pressure them into drugs and drinking.
usatoday.com, 12/13/16; drugabuse.gov, 12/16; monitoringthefuture.org, 12/13/16