Drugs & Health Blog

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

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.


I personally think that teens "abusing" (as the government now calls it to make it sound like the most horrific sin possible) drugs, can some times be a good thing. i know this because i am a 14 year old high school student, and believe me when i say this, drugs are probably the reason im still alive. before i started experimenting with drugs, i was having a HARD time dealing with life. i was stressed, moody, and when i couldn't deal with it any more. i wanted to end it all. that day could have very well been my last day on earth. but insted, it was the first time i tryed smoking weed, and it changed my whole perspective on life. i felt happy for the first time in months, all my stress melted away, it felt amazing. from that day on i knew what i wanted, to be happy, and not just the drugs made me happy, what i was doing in my life made me happy, i realized that i was in a totally wrong place in life. i was trying to be cool with friends who hated and bullied me constantly, loving girls that would never love me back and doing things i didnt like. so i left it all. i stoped talking to the friends i hated, the girls that played with my emotions and got all new friends, a whole different life style and ya know what? i like it. its the best way i think i can live my life, im finally happy.

[removed, per guidelines]

@SWED Interesting. So marijuana may have given you the courage to make those changes – but if you’d had someone to talk to, then maybe you could have made those changes as well. Drugs usually end up causing more problems than they solve. So, please, instead of suggesting that others try drugs to feel better, suggest that they talk with someone or get active with something that makes them happy, instead of relying on illegal drugs.

also there was a study in britian just released of over 120,000 people of whom did and did not smoke weed, and the trend was that people who smoked weed did just as well or better than the people who did not.
people should really focus on more important problems like political tensions or starving children in third world countries, more than silly problems that are truely trivial. if you want to hurt yourself by using drugs go for it why stick your head in other people's buisness

@420reasonswhy Sadly, school performance is not the only problem that comes with consuming marijuana. Driving under the influence and impaired judgment that can lead to risky sexual behavior (and possibly disease) are just some of the negative effects that research shows are associated with marijuana. You can find research on marijuana on NIDA’s Marijuana webpage http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

I'm not going to deny that drugs are bad. There are no good drugs. But giving lectures about how bad it is for your body isn't going to stop anyone. I'm a 15 year old freshman in high school, I'm in a magnet program, I get good grades, I get along with everybody, I listen to my parents, I do my homework, yet I have marijuana, speed, dxm, oxy, alcohol, and tabacco. I've been told since 3rd grade by teachers, media, and my parents to never do drugs, but here I am. The real key, if you chose to do drugs, is moderation. If I showed up to school every day robo tripping my lady [expletive deleted, per guidelines] off, I'd be totally [expletive deleted, per guidelines]. But taking a non-lethal amount of a "soft" drug on a weekend in a safe environment with friends, you won't be [expletive deleted, per guidelines] up your life.

Drugs are like sex in the sense that if your teenager wants to do it, they're going to find a way to do it. They'll find a way to get it, and there are more than enough drugs that don't get detected in a drug test. The best thing you can do is just educate them on its dangers and hope they make the right choices.

@some random 15 year old To educate yourself, visit https://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/index.php.


You have to choice to do it or not..... Drugs is not good for our lives, it's funbut you never know what going to happen next.


some drugs are helpful
some drugs are bad
some make you better
while others send you mad
one thing is certain
make sure you're no fool
only what the doctors orders
should be your rule

@DRUGS ARE BAD Great poem! You captured so many important points in such an elegant way. Thanks for sharing.

the war on drugs is a joke. ha i don't get why people are still trying we'll all be end by the end of this year so try and live it up! idgaf what anyone says because i believe in what i believe in and the government trying to change that is terrible. humanity is destined to fail. (:

pepole says alwys dat its a bad habit its not gud 4health yeah m agry wid dat its not gud 4 health
but the whole world sum pepole having a drugs WHY they really dont know bcoz they imagine to wondrful world
drink smoke also is a bad habit but sum pepole having this WHY we dnt knw bt i tell u 1 think whtevr u want whtevr u do if ur heart say u do this its nt a bad control 4 yourself coz life is so beautyful jst feel it and enjoy it...................................... hv a gud day.........................................

DRUGS R SOOOO BADD!!! would u actually risk ur life for that [expletive deleted, per guidelines]?? NO! and its bad for ur health it makes ur skin so pale and ugly im sure ppl dont want to look ugly and it makes u look old SOOO DONT EVEN TRY!!

I agree with alot of the comments here but not ALL Drugs are harmful for you, alot are but not ALL, for example, Marijuana besides maybe the fact that your high when you smoke there really isnt any bad effects, the case of killing brain cells was researched and proven wrong that it doesnt and there has never been a death connected with Marijuana ever. EVER. Although there is damage being done to your lungs with long term marijuana smoking, its not anything close to what tobacco does and thats legal? Im just hear stating facts.

Actually, nothing has been proven either way. While imaging studies in people who smoke a lot show some consistent changes in brain function, the relation of these changes to brain functioning is not clear. Much more research is needed before anything is “proven.”

I Dont Understand How Weed Can Be A Drug When Cigarettes And Alcohol Are Sold Everyday to The Public And The Abuse Of Both Can Lead To Death.


I don't understand why people think that marijuana is OK. People compare marijuana to Cigarettes And Alcohol like they are not bad. Cigarettes and alcohol are some of the top killers of our country. I think we need to make cigarettes and alcohol illegal if it will save livies.


Its not easy to stop drugs but its better. Your life and your future lays infront of you. If you can't stop drug abuse you need help from people that knows how to help you. Like I said its better to stop. Otherwise you will never stop and its getting worse. Teenagers like you will go and try new stuff. Its bad people its really bad. If you don't stop all your money will go to drugs. Do you want to steal money for drugs ask people on street for money rob banks etc. Stop drugs now. Family and friends will not be there in the end for you they will leave you they won't give love and hope. To use drugs is not to be famouse the only thing is you throuh your good name to the pigs. Where it is durty and bad. So start your live all over again become that good teenager your mom and dad wants you to be.

Message from a 25year old girl
I was on drugs and it changed my life I lost everything. Don't be like me stop drugs and be good.
Change your life to something good. Be successfull........

druges are bad dont do them


Here's the real list:
Tobacco (Chew, dip, cigarettes, etc..)
Synthetic Weed


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