Social Issues: Drugs: Teens and Cocaine

The percentage of high school seniors who have used cocaine within the last 12 months or 30 days.
The percentage of high school seniors who have used cocaine within the last 12 months or 30 days.  

Related "Issue of the Day" Entries

Report on Children States Drug Use is Down
Published Monday, July 13th, 2009

A report called “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009” has been issued by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The report looks at a variety of trends in issues affecting children and teens, such as preterm births, exposure to tobacco, and drug use. Established by the Clinton Administration in April 1997, the forum now comprises 22 Federal agencies as well as private research organizations, collecting and reporting on a large number of issues. The Forum also calls attention to needs for new data about trends affecting children and teens. Each report has highlighted critical data gaps and challenges Federal statistical agencies to do better. In recent years, the forum has focused on areas such as disability, the mental health of children, and environmental quality.

Some of the findings include tobacco exposure, which after successful campaigns is down 50% in 2008 from its peak years of 1996 and 1997. 3% of 8th graders, 6% of 10th graders, 12% of 12th graders reported using cigarettes in 2008. Also, in 2008, only a quarter of High School students drank alcohol heavily as opposed to one-third in 1998. Illicit drug use is down considerably in 2008, as opposed to its peak in 1996/1997, including Cocaine. Currently, illicit drug use reduced to 8% of 8th graders, 16% of 10th graders, and 22% of 12th graders.

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Drug Policies Have Failed, States Clinton
Published Monday, March 30th, 2009

From Mexico City, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that decades of US anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence that has flooded Mexico and threatens the US southwest. This is a surprising turn of events, as past politicians have blamed Mexico for not doing enough to staunch the traffic of illegal drug trafficking. The Obama administration has announced it is seeking $66 million in new funding for extra helicopters for the Mexican Police. Clinton also stated that equipment promised under the Merida Initiative, a 3 year $1.4 billion package of anti-drug assistance to Mexico and Central America, will be a top priority. This meeting will precede the visit by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the US Attorney General, and later President Obama ahead of the Summit of the Americas in April.

Secretary Clinton also stated that “neither interdiction nor reducing demand have been successful.” The arrest for illicit drug abuse violations has reached nearly 2 million a year; that is 1.9 million adults and 100,000 juveniles arrested. 84.9% of teens state that they have ready access Marijuana, 46.7% for cocaine, 38.8% for crack and 27.4% for Heroin. Of those surveyed, the teens that have used Cocaine in the last 30 days remain steady at 1.9-2% and for those who have used in the last year also remains steady between 4.4-5.2%.

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War on Drugs Improves in 2008
Published Monday, December 22nd, 2008

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued the National Drug Threat Assessment report this month in which it makes a clear case for cocaine being the most-pervasive drug problem. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal substance along with Heroin and Methamphetamines. Profits from these drugs and others amount to $18 billion to $39 billion for trafficking groups out of Mexico and Colombia. Increased U.S. seizures and Mexico’s ongoing battles with traffickers has made the availability of Cocaine decline in many cities. The effort has pushed the price of Cocaine up 41% since 2006, from $87 to $123 per gram. Federal spending on drug control amounts to $13.6 billion, 64% going towards law enforcement and about 36% or $4.9 billion aimed at treatment and Prevention.

According to federal data, there has been an across the board reduction during 2007-2008 in High School Seniors using Cocaine in the last 30 days 2% to 1.9% and 12 months from 5.2% to 4.4%. Over the given period that the Report has been issued, Cocaine use by seniors has been through a rollercoaster like decline. In 1985, there was a high of 13.7% annual usage which dropped to 3.1% in 1992. Ever since 1992 the use of Cocaine has continued to steadily surge and ebb.

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Teen Drug Abuse -
In the Teen Drug Abuse website, we attempt to educate people about why teens begin using, what they are using, and how those drugs are affecting teens physically, socially, and mentally.

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