August 29, 2013
Parents with kids in high school need to know, marijuana and synthetic marijuana like K2 and Spice are the most prevalent illicit drugs used by 12th graders, according to data from the most recent national Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. Slightly more than one-third (36.4%) of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past year, including 11.3% who reported using synthetic marijuana, compared with less than 8% for all other illicit drugs, such as: cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.
The MTF survey also found that approximately one-fourth (24%) of 12th graders perceive a great risk for harm in trying synthetic marijuana once or twice, and one-third (33%) think there is a great risk for harm in using the drug occasionally, compared to 15% and 21%, respectively, for marijuana. Previous research on high school students has shown that students’ perceived risk is related to their likelihood of using a drug.
About Monitoring the Future
Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of American secondary school students, college students and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). The Monitoring the Future Study has been funded under a series of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. MTF is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Talk. They Listen.
Research verifies that when parents talk to their kids about risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse, they are less likely to engage in drug use. Gateway Foundation offers parents free resources to keep them informed about teen drug trends and helpful guidance about talking to teens regarding substance abuse. For more information, please visit RecoverGateway.org.