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ERIC Number: ED529150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 773
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Monitoring the Future. National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2009. Volume I, Secondary School Students. NIH Publication Number 10-7584
Johnston, Lloyd D.; O'Malley, Patrick M.; Bachman, Jerald G.; Schulenberg, John E.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
The Monitoring the Future (MTF) study is 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 35th survey of drug use and related attitudes and beliefs among American high school seniors, the 30th such survey of American college students, and the 19th such survey of 8th- and 10th-grade students. Results are also reported for high school graduates followed in a series of panel studies through age 50. Two of the major topics included in this report are (a) the "prevalence and frequency" of drug use among American secondary school students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades and (b) "historical trends" in use by students in those grades. Distinctions are made among important demographic subgroups in these populations based on gender, college plans, region of the country, population density, parents' education, and race/ethnicity. 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. Over the years, MTF has demonstrated that changes in perceived risk and disapproval have been important causes of change in the use of a number of drugs. These beliefs and attitudes are almost certainly influenced by the amount and nature of public attention paid to the drug issue in the historical period during which young people are growing up. A substantial decline in attention to this issue in the early 1990s very likely explains why the increases in perceived risk and disapproval among students ceased and began to backslide. Another lesson that derives from the MTF epidemiological data is that social influences that tend to reduce the "initiation" of substance use also have the potential to deter "continuation" by those who have already begun to use, particularly if they are not yet habitual users. 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 greatest 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 129 footnotes.) [For related reports, see "Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2009. Volume II, College Students & Adults Ages 19-50. NIH Publication Number 10-7585" (ED529151) and "Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2009. NIH Publication Number 10-7583" (ED529149).]
National Institute on Drug Abuse. 6001 Executive Boulevard Room 5213, Bethesda, MD 20892-9561. Tel: 301-443-1124; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS)