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Drugs & Health Blog

Real Teens Ask: What Types of Drugs Are High School Students Using?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Lots of teens have questions about drugs. That’s why each year, NIDA scientists spend a day chatting online with high school students and answering their questions.

At NIDA’s last Drug Facts Chat Day, ham223 asked this question:

“What types of drugs are most used by high school students?”

According to NIDA’s Monitoring the Future Surveywhich looks at the different drugs that teens are using—alcohol is number one (yes, it’s a drug), followed by tobacco and marijuana, which are pretty equal.

Turns out, though, that not many teens are using most illegal drugs. The survey shows that in 2008, fewer than 1 in 6 10th graders reported that they used any illegal drug in the past month. And the numbers are still going down.

Update: For the latest findings from the Monitoring the Future survey, check out this blog post.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


there not going down they are increasing

Many people say that Marijuana is okay and is found not as a drug but an herb. They think it is okay to smoke it and that it will not harm you. More and more students are smoking weed daily. In 2013, 7% of Eighth graders, 18 percent of 10th graders, and 22.7 percent of 12th graders used marijuana in the past month. Students using marijuana daily is up to 6.5 percent of 12th graders. Although many do not think it harms you it internally messes with your sensory perception not only for a short period of time but in turn can have long lasting effects. Marijuana is now legal in many states for people over the age of 21. However, many students are using this drug in schools and out. This is causing many issues around not only the states it is found legal, but around the world.
thats true but deffinitly has to do with the legalization of marijuana.. We need to stop making it like marijuana is a gateway drug(only a gateway drug cus it's illegal) , if it was legal recreationally nobody would move on past pot!!

I hope they're going down. I really hate how stupid teens use drugs without knowing what they're doing to their bodies.

we just need to crack down ( sorry about the pun) more on those laundry stores and whatnot that sell drugs labeled as "scooby snacks" and other kid-friendly names to entice kids into buying these terrible substances that they don't even know what it is!
They're called drug dealers what we get our drugs from. Not sketchy "laundry stores"

why do people do drugs any way????

People do drugs because maybe they don't have theyre families they're so they get addicted to it
because its good

yup..the stats are increasing..

Hi! im currently a Junior in Highschool and we're starting or Senior project reports and my project is on "The causes and effects on Teen Drug Addiction". I was wondering if you could give me any type of advice or guide me to some great sites that would help. If you could do that, that would be great. Thanks for your time.

hi, there are a number of sites that could be helpful for the project you mentioned. definitely check out NIDA's site at and also check out Monitoring the Future which has a lot of information on the abuse of drugs by teens ( Another good data source is the National Survey on Drug Use and Health ( which includes info on those 12 to 17. hope those help.

the drug increase at my school have increased dramatically. these test that say they are decreasing arent reliable source. these students could be lieing because they dont want teacher and facutly members getting to suspicious about wat they are doing between classes and after school hours. its best they dont know much so there wont be a problem later.

I had a friend that was doing drugs and I could not stop her from doing them and then she was a runaway and all these other thing and after a while we were not friends anymore. I could not be around that kind of person that was doing drugs.

just because they are doing drugs does not mean they are bad people

My school has so many drugs but the most popular is marijuana, but where i go now there is none since i go to a boarding school for doing it.

I'm gonna have to agree with Kort. i been gone for awhile(locked up), but drugs are on the rise! Gangas real big around my school, and its not goin anywhere soon. Mabe its just my school but i doubt it. sorry to crush the buzz!

hi im a high school student from ireland ... i think dat drugs are really bad for your health !! drugs make you have no self confidence and you are never yourself... soo even tho ive never taken drugs !! my advice is too any 1 to never ever take drugs ... its not worth losing your family and fighting wit ur friends...

hi there im a typical high school student from ireland.. everyone goes through the stages of life when they feel they have to tke drugs ..its very depressing ..There very bad for your health and damage your body ..I know a few people that tried drugs and they are after loosing there self confidence because of drugs ..The amount of people taking drugs is after increasing .

Hi I'm a high school student in south central LA and we be smoking blunts and drinking in between class and now I just wanna stop it aint no fun anymore...
Young P, I know you must feel pressured to fit in with your homies but wise up. Put down that blunt and start learning to rely on yourself.

the goverment is all wrong.
why is tobacco legal?
why is alcohol legal?
the goverment makes money!
they have invested in these companies
we send people out to war to die everyday, we pay our citizens to kill other people, the goverment doesn't give a shit about our own people because they make money. because our economy is so bad that we have to start a war to boost our own economy. because we can only make guns and military technology. thats it

we spend 1 trillion dollars every year on defense, not schools, not healthcare, not for the poor, not for the homeless, or the people who cannot afford to eat
goverment needs to rethink itself and it priorities
goverment sponsored websites ... ha
war on drugs... ha

and to the people who don't know about this... you should

i'm from the west coast
its pretty easy to get drugs in my school. its a good high school, we're stereotyped to get good grades
i could say for sure that at least twenty people (in my grade alone, we're a pretty small school) smoke pot (or at least something that gives off smoke that you can roll into a joint.)

but will it really matter in the future? i mean why are there not armies of potheads if so many schools hve increased number of kids taking drugs?

hey, actually the numbers of kids taking drugs is decreasing which is good. it means that kids are making good choices when it comes to their health and their future. like i've said before on the blog drugs (any type) don't impact all people in the same way. the point is why take the risk? there's no definite way to tell how a drug will effect you or even what's in the drug. for example, right now we're dealing with an issue where a lot of the cocaine in the U.S. is being cut with---and I am not making this up---a medication used by vets to kill parasites in some animals.

DECREASING?! haha, that's funny.
EVERYONE i know has taken or does weed.
My high school is FULL of druggies and there's 2500 people in it.
and so is another school near mine, it's never hard to get any type of drug around here.
so really? decreasing?
i HIGHLY doubt that.
Kids these days are just smarter and won't say when or if they ever smoked weed.
take it from someone that IS in grade 10, knows almost everyone at my school and whos druggies, and who does it herself.

high school sdudants mostly pot,weed,nichotine,but it is good that the highschool students abusing drugs hasgone down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

they are using them all over the world no matter if their legal or not

drugs are everwhere you turn you cant get a way from them once you start

drugs r bad cause instead of developing a life skill, u r satisfied with being bored.... my mom has 4 brothers and 3 sisters nd each of em hav 5 kids nd 30 out of 40 r on drugs, maybe cause the 10 r under 10 =]

why are people doing it?

@2--Many different reasons, likely. What do you think?

they want pain to stop pain from all things

why do people do dat? :(

Hi! im a high school girl in florida!
more than 75% ifnot more of my school has done some type of drug.
its normal..
there really not that bad.
trust me.
i've done them.
not anymore but ya.
i didnt die, didnt steal anything, didnt go to jail..
my grades didnt slack..
i didnt fight with my parents..
i didnt lose my friends..
i didnt try to kill myself..
none of that stupid BS.
i bet more than half of you who posted something on here has done some type of drug illegal or not.
so ya.

@hha.--You are lucky. Not everyone will have a "bad" experience with drugs, but a lot of people do, and some get addicted. It's risky, cause you never know how they will affect you.

well to you all who say buddahs bad.. well i think your obviously stupid. do your research its actually good for your body, helps prevent cancer as well, their is no heath death reason to why someone died from buddah. you dont get all retarted from it, doesnt harm your body. ciggerets are another thing which does give you cancer. people are going to do drugs no atter what you think and for the retards who try to get you to stop doing drugs but never done em stfu you dont kno nothing!! do a drug n figure it out most the smart people at my school smoke buddah daily and most the people who dont didnt pass their high school exit exame andfor the ones who did we hardly showed up to school and wen we did we were HELLUh smart. and thats rude calling us druggies a druggie is someone whos abuses drugs and is phsyically addicted to them which buddah isnt addicting at all [expl. deleted by editor] what people say their just tryna get you not to smoke it, i say if you really want to go for it your life and who are people to tell you what to do with it.(: pardon my langue.
however i quit smoking on my own bc it really kills your money and i like purching clothing often(:

dude. drugs are a problem but i guess its really just a point of view. everyone has friends or knows someone in school who does drugs. its not good, but still its always goin to be around. thats the world. get used to it

Ok...I'm in grade 10. And I've did drugs. My health is fine. I didn't do anything stupid. Before you try a new drug you should research it and find out what and what not to do while high or geeked out on the drug. Most people don't do this cuz there dum.

if u haven't done a drug don't try to tell some one to quit.

I did drugs in freshman yeah don't do them u end up getting in trubble with the school and then the police get involved and it just a night mare don't every try they become addicting and no matter how hard u try to hid it it will never get away with u.

i would say 3 in 6 kids in my school have done drugs in the last month

Illegal druggers should be thrown in jail for ever! And the dealers of course! If you think drugging is o.k., than you have taken them yourself and want to say you didn't do anything wrong!

4 me there are 2 in 10 students are taking drugs in my school.

hello in my school, there's no taking drugz. our school is so strict to their students.
hope all school are the same to all the school where i came from. haaizt.......
take care


To the people who have done drugs and say nothing is wrong, you are horribly mistaken. You were just very lucky that it didn't become an addiction.

And why try drugs? My mom, dad, sister, and brother have all done drugs and they have all been addicted to them. And don't give me the, "They were stupid" [expletive del] excuse. Like an above poster said, you're trying to make a sorry excuse for yourself because you did something wrong and you know it.

@NiCOLE, you must be taking some [expl. del] classes if you think school is easy for tweakers. If you think school is so easy, I can see that you're doing so good because you have top notch grammar skills. By the way, I think you meant "purchasing" since "purching" is nonexistent in the English language.

I know some of you might think I'm some adult that knows it all and is full of themself, but no. I am a 16-year-old who is doing very well in school. I passes my HSEE and I've taken all Honors and AP classes thus far, and I do NOT do drugs. It is an understatement to say that I hate drugs. They're horrible and they took my family away from me. But I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world, because I have my family now.

You may not see it past your narrow mind, but drugs ruin lives, whether you choose to believe or not.

That's completely wrong. The most used drug is by far weed. Also numbers are definitely increasing and I'm glad. It's good to see no one is falling for this [expletive deleted, per g/l]. I no the amount of drugs I use is increasing.

such a nice information and thanks for sharing.

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