|Drugs of Abuse List
Trends in Use
Since 1975, the Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) has annually studied
the extent of drug abuse among high school 12th-graders. The survey was
expanded in 1991 to include 8th- and 10th-graders. It is funded by NIDA
and is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social
Research. The goal of the survey is to collect data on 30-day, annual, and
lifetime* drug use among students in these grade levels. This, the 30th
annual study, was conducted during 2004. (1)
Decreases or stability in use patterns were noted for the most part from
2003 to 2004. However, for the second year significant increases in
inhalant abuse were seen among 8th-graders. Even a single session of
repeated inhalant abuse can disrupt heart rhythms and cause death from
cardiac arrest or lower oxygen levels enough to cause suffocation. Regular
abuse of inhalants can result in serious damage to vital organs, including
the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver. Please visit
www.inhalants.drugabuse.gov for more information on the health effects
These are the key findings from the 2004 MTF:
Any illicit drug - 30-day use of any illicit drug decreased significantly among
8th-graders, from 9.7 percent in 2003 to 8.4 percent in 2004.
Inhalants - Lifetime use of inhalants increased significantly among
8th-graders, from 15.8 percent in 2003 to 17.3 percent in 2004, continuing
an upward trend in use noted among 8th-graders last year, after several
years of decline. Since 2001, there appears to be a gradual decline among
8th-graders in the perceived risk of using inhalants.
Prescription Drugs - Annual use of Ritalin and Rohypnol remained
statistically unchanged for all grades from 2003 to 2004. Annual use of
Vicodin and OxyContin remained stable among all grades, but at
somewhat high levels. Annual use of Vicodin was at 2.5 percent for
8th-graders, 6.2 percent for 10-graders, and 9.3 percent for 12th-graders.
Annual use of OxyContin was at 1.7 percent for 8th-graders, 3.5 percent
for 10th-graders, and 5.0 percent for 12th-graders. (2)
Marijuana - 30-day use of marijuana was down significantly among
8th-graders, from 7.5 percent in 2003 to 6.4 percent in 2004. Some
strengthening of attitudes against marijuana use also occurred among
8th- and 10th-graders.
MDMA (Ecstasy) - Lifetime use of MDMA decreased significantly for
10th-graders, from 5.4 percent in 2003 to 4.3 percent in 2004. Some
strengthening of attitudes against use was seen among 10th- and
12th-graders. All grades had decreases in the perception of the availability
Methamphetamine - Use decreased significantly among 8th-graders, from
3.9 percent in 2003 to 2.5 percent in 2004 for lifetime use; from 2.5
percent in 2003 to 1.5 percent in 2004 for annual use; and from 1.2
percent in 2003 to 0.6 percent in 2004 for 30-day use.
GHB and Ketamine - Significant decreases in annual use were seen among
10th-graders for GHB, from 1.4 percent in 2003 to 0.8 percent in 2004, and
Ketamine, from 1.9 percent in 2003 to 1.3 percent in 2004.
LSD - Lifetime use of LSD decreased significantly among 12th-graders, from
5.9 percent in 2003 to 4.6 percent in 2004, continuing the pattern of
decreases in LSD use noted in 2002 and 2003.
Anabolic Steroids - Use of steroids decreased significantly among
8th-graders, from 2.5 percent in 2003 to 1.9 percent in 2004 for lifetime
use and from 1.4 percent in 2003 to 1.1 percent in 2004 for annual use.
Among 10th-graders, lifetime use decreased significantly, from 3.0 percent
in 2003 to 2.4 percent in 2004, continuing the decrease in use among
10th-graders seen in 2003. Steroid use among 12th-graders, however,
remained stable at peak levels.
Cocaine, other than Crack - A significant increase in use of cocaine other
than crack was seen among 10th-graders, from 1.1 percent in 2003 to 1.5
percent in 2004, for 30-day use. An increase in the perception of
availability of all forms of cocaine was seen among 12th-graders.
Cigarettes/Nicotine - Cigarette smoking decreased significantly among
10th-graders, from 43.0 percent in 2003 to 40.7 percent in 2004 for
lifetime use and from 4.1 percent in 2003 to 3.3 percent in 2004 for those
smoking one-half pack or more per day. The perception of harm from
smoking one or more packs per day increased significantly among 8th- and
10th-graders from 2003 to 2004.
Alcohol, heroin, crack cocaine, hallucinogens other than LSD, PCP,
amphetamines, tranquilizers, sedatives, and methaqualone remained
stable among all grades from 2003 to 2004.
Perceived Risk of Harm, Disapproval, & Perceived Availability
In addition to studying drug use among 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, MTF
collects information on three attitudinal indicators related to drug use.
These are perceived risk of harm in taking a drug, disapproval of others
who take drugs, and perceived availability of drugs.
The following POSITIVE attitudinal changes are from 2003 to 2004:
Marijuana - Significant increases occurred among 8th-graders in perceived
risk for regular marijuana use and for trying it once or twice. Additionally,
disapproval of trying marijuana once or twice or smoking it occasionally
increased significantly among 8th-graders. Among 10th-graders,
disapproval of smoking marijuana occasionally or regularly increased
significantly. Perceived availability of marijuana decreased significantly
Cigarettes/Nicotine - The perceived risk associated with smoking one or
more packs of cigarettes per day increased significantly among 8th- and
10th-graders. Perceived availability of cigarettes decreased significantly
MDMA (Ecstasy) - Among 10th-graders, the perceived risk of taking MDMA
occasionally increased significantly, as did their disapproval of trying MDMA
once or twice. Among 12th-graders, disapproval of taking MDMA once or
twice increased significantly. Perceived availability of MDMA significantly
decreased for all three grades.
Heroin - A significant increase was noted in the percentage of
12th-graders who perceive risk in using heroin occasionally without a
needle. Among 8th-graders, the perceived availability of heroin decreased
Alcohol - Among 12th-graders, a significant increase was seen in the
percentage perceiving risk in taking one or two drinks nearly every day.
Inhalants - Among 10th-graders, a significant increase was seen in the
percentage disapproving of using inhalants regularly.
LSD - The perceived availability of LSD decreased significantly among
8th-graders. A significant increase was noted in the percentage of
12th-graders who disapprove of using LSD once or twice.
PCP - The perceived availability of PCP decreased significantly among
Cocaine and Crack - The perceived availability of cocaine and crack
decreased significantly among 8th-graders.
The perceived availability of narcotics other than heroin, amphetamines,
crystal methamphetamine (ice), tranquilizers, alcohol, and steroids
decreased significantly among 8th-graders.
The following NEGATIVE attitudinal changes are from 2003 to 2004:
Heroin - A significant decrease was noted in the percentage of
12th-graders who perceive risk in using heroin regularly.
LSD - A significant decrease occurred in the percentage of 8th-graders who
disapprove of taking LSD regularly.
Inhalants - The gradual decline among 8th-graders since 2001 in the
perceived risk of using inhalants continued from 2003 to 2004.
Cocaine - An increase in the perception of availability of all forms of cocaine
was seen among 12th-graders.
SOURCE NIDA InfoFacts: High School and Youth Trends
Trends of Use
Cocaine/crack abuse was endemic in almost all CEWG areas in 2002. Rates
of ED mentions per 100,000 population were higher for cocaine than for
any other drug in 17 CEWG areas. Rates increased significantly between
the second half of 2001 and the first half of 2002 in Baltimore, Denver,
Newark, and San Diego, while decreasing in San Francisco and Seattle. ED
rates were highest in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Miami
in the first half of 2002. Rates for cocaine were much higher than those for
methamphetamine in west coast areas. Trends in treatment admissions
from 2000 to 2002 showed little change in most CEWG areas. Primary
cocaine admissions constituted more than 40 percent of illicit drug
admissions (excluding alcohol) in seven areas, with the majority being for
crack. Additionally, polydrug use was common among powder and crack
cocaine abusers. Cocaine was reported frequently as a secondary drug by
heroin abusers admitted to treatment. Between 27 and 49 percent of male
arrestees tested positive for cocaine in 14 CEWG areas. Nationwide in
2002, 61,594 kilograms of cocaine were seized by the DEA 3.6 percent
more than in 2001 and 35.9 percent more than in 1995.
Heroin indicators were relatively stable in 2002, but continued at high
levels in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Primary heroin treatment admissions ranged from 62 to 82 percent of all
illicit drug admissions (excluding alcohol) in Baltimore, Boston, and Newark.
Rates of heroin ED mentions exceeded 100 per 100,000 population in
Chicago and Newark, and heroin/morphine-involved death mentions
reported by DAWN ranged from 195 to 352 in Boston, Baltimore, and
Chicago. Conversely, significant decreases in ED rates were observed
between the first half of 2001 and the first half of 2002 in six CEWG areas:
Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix, San Diego, and Washington, DC. Of the
eight CEWG areas reporting local medical examiner data on
heroin/morphine-related drug mortality in 2002, figures were highest in
Detroit, Philadelphia, southern Florida counties, and Phoenix. DEA data
showed that heroin purity in 2001 was highest in Philadelphia (73 percent
pure), and ranged from 56 to 68 percent in New York, Boston, and
Newark;all areas where South American and Southwest Asian heroin are
Misuse of Prescription Opiates
Opiates/narcotics (excluding heroin) appear increasingly in drug indicator
data, particularly hydrocodone and oxycodone products. Increases in
oxycodone ED mentions were reported in 12 CEWG areas from the first
half of 2001 to the first half of 2002, and 7 of these were statistically
significant. In San Francisco, oxycodone ED mentions increased 110
percent during the same time period. Other CEWG members reported an
increase in oxycodone medical sales, diversion of the drug from clinics, and
increased arrests. Hydrocodone, which is often used in combination with
alcohol and other drugs, was cited as a problem in several CEWG areas
including Phoenix, Texas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and South Florida.
Preliminary ED data for the first half of 2002 show that the rate of narcotic
analgesics/combinations mentions per 100,000 population was 2 to 7
times higher in Baltimore than other CEWG areas. In 11 of the 20 CEWG
areas included in the DAWN mortality system in 2001, the number of
narcotic analgesic-related death mentions exceeded those for cocaine,
heroin/morphine, marijuana, and methamphetamine.
Marijuana is the most frequently used illicit drug in CEWG areas, and levels
of use and abuse are high among adolescents and young adults. Rates of
marijuana ED mentions per 100,000 population increased significantly
between the first half of 2001 and the first half of 2002 in Miami, Newark,
Phoenix, and San Diego, but decreased in Chicago, San Francisco, and
Seattle. Primary marijuana admissions (excluding alcohol) accounted for
approximately one-quarter to one-half of admissions for illicit drug use in
12 of the 20 CEWG areas reporting 2002 treatment data. The proportions
were highest in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami, Colorado, New Orleans, and
Seattle. The percentages of adult male arrestees testing
marijuana-positive in 2002 exceeded the percentages testing positive for
other drugs in 12 of 16 CEWG areas. The same was true of female
arrestees in only three of nine CEWG sites. The DEA reported seizures of
195,644 kilograms of marijuana in 2002, the lowest amount since 1996.
Methamphetamine abuse continues to spread geographically and to
different populations. In addition to the large;super labs; in California and
trafficking from Mexico, there has been a proliferation of small mom and
pop; laboratories throughout the country, especially in rural areas.
Methamphetamine abuse and production continue at high levels in Hawaii,
west coast areas, and some southwestern areas, and abuse and
manufacture continues to move eastward. Several CEWG areas report new
populations of methamphetamine users, including Hispanics and young
people in Denver, club goers in Boston, and African-Americans in Texas.
Primary admissions for amphetamines/methamphetamine (excluding
alcohol) represented a sizable minority of treatment admissions in eight
CEWG areas in 2002. Most admissions were primary methamphetamine
users. The percentages of adult male arrestees testing positive for
methamphetamine use trended upward in nine CEWG areas between
2000 and 2002. Additionally, one-half of adult female arrestees in Honolulu
tested positive in 2002, as did nearly 42 percent in Phoenix and 37 percent
in San Diego. Not only methamphetamine users, but also children exposed
to and agencies that seize and clean up methamphetamine labs are also in
danger of serious health consequences.
MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine; often called ecstasy) indicators
suggest that use of this drug has spread to populations outside the club
scene. MDMA is often used in combination with alcohol and other drugs,
and pills sold in clubs as ecstasy often contain substances other than, or in
addition to, MDMA. The number of MDMA ED mentions decreased in 11
CEWG areas from the first and/or second half of 2001 to the first half of
2002, with a significant increase reported only in New Orleans. The highest
numbers of ED mentions in 2002 were in Philadelphia, Miami, San
Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. Two CEWG members
reported statewide treatment admissions data for 2002: for Illinois, 2002
was the first year that club drug; treatment admissions were tracked and
a majority of those admitted were male (68 percent) and White (75
percent); in Texas, treatment admissions with a primary, secondary, or
tertiary MDMA problem rose from 63 in 1998 to 521 in 2002.
Emerging Drugs: PCP
PCP indicators increased in five CEWG areas Los Angeles, Philadelphia,
Phoenix, Washington, DC, and Texas and remained steady in Chicago
communities. Los Angeles reported an 11 percent increase in PCP-related
arrests since 2001. In Phoenix, PCP ED mentions increased significantly
between the first half of 2001 and the first half of 2002; from 27 to 42
mentions. In Texas, ED mentions increased significantly from 46 to 74
during the same time period. In the first half of 2001, 6 CEWG areas had
more than 73 PCP ED mentions, ranging from 74 in Dallas to 542 in
Philadelphia. In 2002, both primary PCP treatment admissions and ED
mentions were highest in Washington, DC. DC also reported increases in
both adult and juvenile arrestees who tested positive for PCP.
SOURCE NIDA InfoFacts: Nationwide Trends
|Drugs of Abuse Acid/LSD Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Ecstasy/MDMA Heroin Inhalants Marijuana Methamphetamine
PCP/Phencyclidine Prescription Medications Smoking/Nicotine Steroids (Anabolic)