Monitoring the Future 2019: The Highs and Lows of Vaping

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The 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey results are in, and the news this year is mixed—some good, some not so good.

Every year, this national research survey measures drug and alcohol use and attitudes of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. More than 42,000 students from almost 400 schools across the United States answered confidential questionnaires last January.

The good news is a continuing decline in most kinds of drug use among teens, including misuse of prescription opioids, cigarette smoking, and alcohol use.

The not-so-good news is the growing appeal of vaping. Vaping of nicotine and marijuana increased a lot from the 2018 survey; a fifth of 12th graders reported that they had vaped marijuana sometime in the past year, nearly double the year before. More than a third (35.3 percent) reported that they’d vaped nicotine in the past year.

“We are collecting data in order to be able to actually come up with solutions or address problems as they are emerging,” says NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. “And, through Monitoring the Future, we were able to document how rapidly teenagers were embracing vaping devices and to understand the pattern of use.”

When asked why they vape, many teens say they like the flavor, while others do it to experiment, for social reasons, or to feel good. However, from 2018 to 2019, the number of 12th graders saying they vape because they are “hooked” more than doubled—to 8.1 percent, up from 3.6 percent.

Check out this video, where Dr. Volkow summarizes the 2019 MTF results:

 

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Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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