Statistics and other data regarding drug use and other risk-taking behavior among young people, as well as drug policies related to young people including prevention, education, social development, healthcare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Addiction and Adolescent Brain Development

Addiction and Adolescent Brain Development: "Addictive substances also adversely affect brain development and maturation in the areas related to motivation, judgment, inhibition and selfcontrol.26 As a result, addictive substances impair the judgment of teens in the face of potential rewards, leading not only to their engagement in risky behaviors--such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or participating in unsafe sexual practices--but also to continued use of addictive substances despite negative consequences.27

Early Initiation of Substance Use

Early Initiation of Substance Use: “When initiation of substance use occurs in preadolescence or early in adolescence, the risk of addiction is magnified.8 CASA’s analysis of national data finds that individuals‡ who first used any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to have a substance use disorder as those who did not use any addictive substance until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent).”

Alcohol Use v Marijuana Use - US Youth and "The Displacement Hypothesis"

(Alcohol Use v Marijuana Use - US Youth and "The Displacement Hypothesis") "Alcohol and marijuana are the two most commonly used substances by teenagers to get high, and a question that is often asked is to what extent does change in one lead to a change in the other. If the substances co-vary negatively (an increase in one is accompanied by a decrease in the other) they are said to be substitutes; if they co-vary positively, they are said to be complements.

Prevalence of Substance Use Among Youth in the US, by Race/Ethnicity

"For a number of years, 12th grade African-American students reported lifetime, annual, 30-day, and daily prevalence levels for nearly all drugs that were lower – sometimes dramatically so – than those for White or Hispanic 12th graders. That is less true today, with levels of drug use among African Americans more similar to the other groups. This narrowing of the gap between African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups is also seen in 8th and 10th grade, indicating that this narrowing in 12th grade is almost certainly not due primarily to differential dropout rates.

Illegal or Improper Use of Prescription Drugs by High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 14.0% of students had taken prescription pain medicine (counting drugs such as codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, Hydrocodone, and Percocet) without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 127)). The prevalence of having ever taken prescription pain medicine without a doctor’s prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it was higher among Hispanic (15.1%) than black (12.3%) students and higher among Hispanic female (16.1%) than black female (12.5%) students.

Lifetime Marijuana Use Among Students in the US, by Race and Gender

"Nationwide, 35.6% of students had used marijuana (also called grass, pot, or weed) one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 106). The prevalence of having ever used marijuana was higher among black (42.8%) and Hispanic (42.4%) than white (32.0%) students, higher among black female (44.9%) and Hispanic female (42.7%) than white female (32.1%) students, and higher among black male (40.5%) and Hispanic male (42.1%) than white male (31.7%) students.