Monitoring the Future: Annual Survey of Teen Drug Use
Correction: On December 15, the National Institute on Drug Abuse announced new data from the annual Monitoring the Future study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. On December 16, a data processing error was found. This error misrepresented the scope of the decreases in daily or near-daily vaping of nicotine, marijuana, and just flavoring. NIDA’s materials were updated on December 17 to reflect the correct data.
Each year, NIDA-funded researchers at the University of Michigan survey students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades on their behaviors and attitudes about substance use. The survey results are released the same year the data are collected. According to the 2020 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey:
- From 2017 to 2019, the percentage of teenagers who said they vaped nicotine in the past 12 months roughly doubled for eighth graders from 7.5% to 16.5%, for 10th graders from 15.8% to 30.7%, and for 12th graders from 18.8% to 35.3%. In 2020, the rates held steady at a respective 16.6%, 30.7%, and 34.5%.
- Daily marijuana vaping significantly decreased among 10th graders from 3% in 2019 to 1.7% in 2020.
- Among eighth graders, past 12-month use of inhalants has increased from 3.8% in 2016 to 6.1% in 2020, a 64% proportional increase, unlike 12th graders, who reported an all-time low use of inhalants.
A note on the 2020 MTF survey findings: From February 11 through March 14, 2020, the MTF survey investigators collected 11,821 surveys in 112 schools before data collection stopped prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the completed surveys from early 2020 represent about 25% of the sample size of a typical year’s data collection, the results were gathered from a broad geographic and representative sample, so the data were statistically weighted to provide national numbers. The University of Michigan researchers are working with schools to deploy the survey in early 2021 to gather data that will reflect substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic and related periods of social distancing.
How to use the interactive chart: Select by drug, year, grade, and duration to see teen drug use trends. Use the Share and Download icons at the bottom of the chart.