For the first time since 1975, US teens record significant decline in drug use

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Dec 16, 2021, 11:09 AM IST

File photo: Photograph:(Twitter)

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The survey further urged students to talk about their mental health amid the ongoing pandemic

An annual survey by the National Institute on drug abuse has revealed that drug and alcohol use among teenagers in the US saw a massive dip in 2021. The researchers have recorded the largest single-year decline since 1975. "The 2021 survey reported significant decreases in use across many substances, including those most commonly used in adolescence – alcohol, marijuana, and vaped nicotine," read a press release.

The survey urged students from different classes to come together and report their substance use over various periods. As a part of the survey, responses from over 32,000 students were recorded, both in public and private schools in the US.

Nora Volkow, MD, NIDA director, in the press release said, "We have never seen such dramatic decreases in drug use among teens in just a one-year period. These data are unprecedented and highlight one unexpected potential consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused seismic shifts in the day-to-day lives of adolescents."

She further added, "Moving forward, it will be crucial to identify the pivotal elements of this past year that contributed to decreased drug use – whether related to drug availability, family involvement, differences in peer pressure, or other factors – and harness them to inform future prevention efforts.”

The results were gathered using a broad geographic and representative sample. It was then concluded that 11.3 per cent of the students who took the survey were African American, 16.7 per cent were Hispanic, 5 per cent were Asian, 0.9 per cent were American Indian or Alaska Native. The remaining 13.8 per cent were multiple, and 51.2 per cent were white. 

The survey further urged students to talk about their mental health amid the ongoing pandemic. Various students reported an increase in feelings of boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness and worry. 

(With inputs from agencies)