Survey Finds Large Decrease in Teen Substance Use in 2021

    Substance use in teens declined significantly in 2021, according to the annual Monitoring the Future survey released Wednesday.

    The survey found significant decreases in use of many substances, including alcohol, marijuana and vaped nicotine, CNN reports.

    The percentage of students who reported using alcohol within the past year decreased significantly for 10th and 12th grade students and remained stable for 8th graders. The percentage of students who reported using marijuana in all forms within the past year, as well as the percentage who reported using any illicit substance other than marijuana, dropped significantly.

    “We have never seen such dramatic decreases in drug use among teens in just a one-year period,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, M.D., said in a news release. “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. 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.”


    December 2021