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.


(Inhalants) "In 2011, there were 719,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used inhalants for the first time within the past 12 months, which was lower than the numbers in prior years from 2002 to 2005 (ranging from 849,000 to 877,000). An estimated 67.1 percent of past year initiates of inhalants in 2011 were under age 18 when they first used. The average age at first use among recent initiates aged 12 to 49 was similar in 2010 and 2011 (16.3 and 16.4 years, respectively)."

"Drug-Infected" Public Schools

("Drug-Infected" Public Schools) "Sixty percent of high school students and 32 percent of middle school students say that students keep, use or sell drugs on their school grounds. For seven of the past eight years, at least 60 percent of high school students have said they attend a drug-infected school."

Any Drug Use vs Specific Drug Use

(Any Drug Use vs Specific Drug Use) "Overall, these data reveal that, while use of individual drugs (other than marijuana) may fluctuate widely, the proportion using any of them is much more stable. In other words, the proportion of students prone to using such drugs and willing to cross the normative barriers to such use changes more gradually.

Drug-Related ER Visits

(Drug-Related ER Visits) "Patients aged 20 or younger accounted for 18.8 percent (922,953 visits) of all drug-related ED visits in 2010. About one half (45.3 percent, or 417,856 visits) of these visits involved drug misuse or abuse, representing a rate of 476.1 ED visits per 100,000 population aged 20 or younger."

Drugs Sold at School

(Drugs Sold at School) "Almost half of high school students (44 percent) know a student who sells drugs at their school. When asked what drugs are sold at their school:

• 91 percent said marijuana;
• 24 percent said prescription drugs;
• 9 percent said cocaine; and
• 7 percent said ecstasy."

Social Networking and Drug Use

(Social Networking and Drug Use) "Compared to teens who have never seen pictures on Facebook, MySpace or another social networking site of kids getting drunk, passed out, or using drugs, teens who have seen such pictures are:

• Four times likelier to have used marijuana (25 percent vs. 6 percent);
• More than three times likelier to have used alcohol (43 percent vs. 13 percent); and
• Almost three times likelier to have used tobacco (16 percent vs. 6 percent)."

Ease of Getting Drugs

(Ease of Getting Drugs) "Younger teens (ages 12 to 13 and 14 to 15) are more likely to say that they can get prescription drugs in an hour, and within a day, compared to marijuana, while older teens (16- to 17) are more likely to be able to get to marijuana within a day."

Prescription Medicine Abuse

(Prescription Medicine Abuse) "It is important to note that the negative consequences of prescription medicine abuse remain extensive and troubling. Emergency room visits as a result of prescription medications increased 45 percent between 2004 and 2009 among children under 20 years of age1. Admissions to treatment for prescription medicine abuse among adolescents have also increased and deaths caused by drug overdoses, led by prescription medicines, now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States2."

Illicit Use of Prescription Drugs

(Illicit Use of Prescription Drugs) "Abuse of prescription medicine [by teens] remains high, but there are signs that it may be plateauing. Close to one in five teens (17 percent) say they have used a prescription medicine at least once in their lifetime to get high or change their mood. This is slightly, although not significantly, down from 22 percent in 2010 and from 20 percent in 2009. Use of prescription pain medicines, specifically Vicodin or OxyContin, is trending downward.