The United, Healthy States of America

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Stethoscope laid over American flag

UPDATE: Teens reported a dramatic increase in vaping in just a single year, according to the 2018 Monitoring the Future survey. Read more.

Here at the Drugs & Health Blog, we usually discuss what can happen to your body if you use drugs. It’s important to know those facts, so you can make informed choices about your health.

Let’s focus now on some good news. When it comes to drug use, more American teens are making healthy choices.  

  • Americans—including teens—smoke fewer cigarettes compared to smokers in other countries.
  • Fewer teens are using cocaine. Among high school students, cocaine use has been cut almost in half since 2006.
  • Prescription opioid misuse among American teens has declined over the past 8 years, thanks in part to tougher standards for prescribing opioids to relieve pain. Teens are also getting the message that misusing these medications is extremely dangerous.
  • Early childhood education programs (like preschool) are helping children grow into young adults who make wise choices about their health. One well-known study found that children who attended preschool were less likely to use marijuana when they became teens than those who didn’t go to preschool. Why? Scientists think that when children learn to deal with challenging situations in a healthy way, they may be less likely to use drugs to cope with problems as teens and young adults.

Is there room for improvement? Sure! But a lot of the news is good. To all the teens who are part of these healthy trends, we say: way to go!

Find Help Near You

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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