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ERIC Number: ED528081
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 783
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2010. Volume I, Secondary School Students
Johnston, Lloyd D.; O'Malley, Patrick M.; Bachman, Jerald G.; Schulenberg, John E.
Institute for Social Research
The Monitoring the Future (MTF) study involves an ongoing series of national surveys of American adolescents and adults that has provided the nation with a vital window into the important, but largely hidden, problem behaviors of illegal drug use, alcohol use, tobacco use, anabolic steroid use, and psychotherapeutic drug use. For more than a third of a century, MTF has provided a clearer view of the changing topography of these problems among adolescents and adults, a better understanding of the dynamics of factors that drive some of these problems, and a better understanding of some of their consequences. It has also given policymakers and nongovernmental organizations in the field some practical approaches for intervening. This annual monograph series has been the primary vehicle for disseminating MTF's epidemiological findings. This latest two-volume monograph presents the results of the 36th survey of drug use and related attitudes and beliefs among American high school seniors, the 31st such survey of American college students, and the 20th such survey of 8th- and 10th-grade students. Importantly, results are also reported for high school graduates followed in a series of panel studies through age 50. Results from the samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are contained in "Volume I", which is preceded by two national press releases and an advance summary report. Results on college students and other adults are reported each year in "Volume II", which is published a few months after "Volume I". A new monograph was added in 2009 on risk and protective behaviors for the spread of HIV/AIDS among young adults. The authors can summarize the findings on trends as follows: For more than a decade--from the late 1970s to the early 1990s--the use of a number of illicit drugs declined appreciably among 12th-grade students, and declined even more among American college students and young adults. These substantial improvements--which seem largely explainable in terms of changes in attitudes about drug use, beliefs about the risks of drug use, and peer norms against drug use--have some extremely important policy implications. One clear implication is that these various substance-using behaviors among American young people are malleable--they can be changed. It has been done before. The second is that demand-side (rather than supply-side) factors appear to have been pivotal in bringing about most of those changes. The levels of marijuana availability, as reported by 12th graders, have held fairly steady throughout the life of the study. Moreover, among students who abstained from marijuana use, as well as among those who quit, availability and price rank very low on their lists of reasons for not using.) And, in fact, the perceived availability of cocaine was actually rising during the beginning of the sharp decline in cocaine and crack use in the mid- to late- 1980s, which occurred when the perceived risk associated with that drug rose sharply. However, improvements are surely not inevitable; and when they occur, they should not be taken for granted. Relapse is always possible and, indeed, just such a relapse in the longer term epidemic occurred during the early to mid-1990s, as the country let down its guard on many fronts. The drug problem is not an enemy that can be vanquished. It is more a recurring and relapsing problem that must be contained to the extent possible on an ongoing basis. Therefore, it is a problem that requires an ongoing, dynamic response--one that takes into account the continuing generational replacement of children, the generational forgetting of the dangers of drugs that can occur with that replacement, and the perpetual stream of new abusable substances that will threaten to lure young people into involvement with drugs. Appended are: (1) Prevalence and Trend Estimates Adjusted for Absentees and Dropouts; (2) Definition of Background and Demographic Subgroups; (3) Estimation of Sampling Errors; (4) Trends by Subgroup: Supplemental Tables for Secondary School Students; (5) Trends in Specific Subclasses of Hallucinogens, Amphetamines, Tranquilizers, Sedatives, and Narcotic Drugs Other than Heroin; and (6) Trends in Drug Use for Three Grades Combined. An index is included. (Contains 242 tables, 123 figures and 131 footnotes.) [For related reports, see "Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2010. Volume II, College Students & Adults Ages 19-50" (ED528082); and "Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2010" (ED528077).]
Institute for Social Research. University of Michigan, P.O. Box 1248, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 734-764-8354; Fax: 734-647- 4575; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 12; Grade 8; High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research