A Letter to Our Audience
Hi Audience! Yeah you guys out there reading this right now on your phone or your laptop or even your Ipad (our website works well on all of these devices!) I know we (Inspirations) has been informing you about all of these new drugs, new statistics, and inspiring stories for a little while now but I realized that I haven’t really introduced myself. I’m expecting you to believe what I’m writing, but I’ve given you little to go on about who I am. Today, I decided it was time to change that.
My name is Sarah Samuels and I’m a graduate of the University of Florida. In my life thus far, I’ve found that I have a passion for storytelling. That passion has evolved into a love for the truth. I always want to tell you, the audience, the truth. Especially when it concerns important matters like drugs and alcohol.
I wish that businesses like Inspirations didn’t have to exist in our world. Now don’t get me wrong: I love working for Inspirations and I truly believe in the message that the company brings, but I wish we lived in a world where teenagers weren’t addicted to drugs and alcohol. I wish our teenagers didn’t have to face the pressures of trying to conform to a clique they want to be in. I wish our teens knew healthier ways of coping with stress. I wish our teenagers didn’t use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for mental issues like depression.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. That’s why the teen rehab industry exists. However, I believe we can make a difference. Together. It’s you and us against the perils of this world. We’ll be here for you when you’re not sure how to proceed. We’ll help you through the process of healing from drug addiction. We can give you the tools you need to get healthy and stay in recovery. We’ll provide you with new information as soon as we learn about it.
That’s our promise to you. It’s my promise to you. With that being said, I wanted to introduce an article that will (hopefully) inspire you, my audience. Sometimes we get so caught up in reporting the facts and trying to inform the public and we forget to mention the many good trends that are happening right now. So I compiled five interesting and uplifting trends in teen drug use. I hope you enjoy. Happy Friday.
5 Uplifting Facts about Teen Drug Use
According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, cigarette smoking is down among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. This is good because 90% of smokers start before the age of 21.
The number of 8th graders who smoke cigarettes in the past 30 days prior to being surveyed dropped from nearly 5% to 4.5%. Among 10th graders the rate declined from 10.8% to 9.1%. In 12th grade the rate dropped from 17.1% to 16.3%.
Teen smoking has been continuously declining for the past five years, which is great news! We all know the horrors of smoking. It’s nearly impossible to escape the many, many commercials out there that try to dissuade people from smoking. We can only hope that they’re working.
Synthetic marijuana is nasty, nasty stuff. It’s sold in gas stations and smoke shops around the country. It seems innocuous, contained in its decorative packaging with a cute name like K2 or Spice. However, this stuff is dangerous. Many teens have died from smoking it, so we’re glad to hear that use is declining!
In 2012, synthetic marijuana was the second-most widely used illicit drug in the 10th and 12th grade category (it was second to cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug).
However, statistics show a significant decline in use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders for 2013. The highest rate of decline was among the high school seniors. 11.3% admitted using synthetic marijuana in 2012, while only 7.9% admitted using it in 2013. That’s great news. Teenagers, please listen to us when we say this stuff is deadly. Just because it’s sold in stores does NOT MEAN it’s safe. If you don’t believe me or think, hey it probably won’t happen to me, then please read Emily Bauer’s story here.
According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, about 1% of teens in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades tried bath salts in the 30 days prior to being surveyed. This is a decrease from the year before.
Check out this excerpt from the press release released by Monitoring the Future:
“In a single year, the percent indicating that occasional use carries great risk of harm has risen by 13, 17 and 25 percentage points in grades 8, 10 and 12, respectively. This is a very steep rise in this belief, typically not seen over such a short period of time, say the investigators.”
That little factoid means that more and more teenagers are realizing how dangerous bath salts can be. They’re being educated on the side effects and deciding, for themselves, that this drug is bad news. Bath salts can make you do some crazy things. It’s good to hear that teenagers aren’t using this drug as often as they were before.
Drug use, as you probably know, can affect the young teenager’s brain. The fact that half of high school students are NOT trying drugs or alcohol is inspiring. We’re proud of those teens for standing up for themselves and their future and refusing to use drugs or alcohol. We think this statistic could be even higher than just a mere 50%, though.
Alcohol use by teenagers has also been dropping dramatically over the past 20 years, especially among the youngest teens. In 2013, the rates of alcohol usage over the past 30 days among 8th, 10th, and 12 graders dropped by 0.8%, 1.9%, and 2.3%, respectively.
All three grades are now at the lowest point they’ve been since the mid-1990s. Among 8th graders, the proportion who have ever taken “more than just a few sips” of alcohol by 8th grade has fallen by half since the 1990s.