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Addiction: Substance Abuse
The Hard Facts

After one or two years of decline, overall illicit drug use among high school students remained steady in 1999.

Inhalants are more popular with younger students than older ones and provide an increased danger due to unknown personal reactions based on the amounts of substance inhaled and the usersí health.

Prevention must occur drug-by-drug, because knowledge of the adverse consequences of one drug will not necessarily generalize to the use of other drugs. Studentsí beliefs and attitudes are specific to each drug.

Over half (55%) of young teens have tried an illicit drug by the time they have finished high school.

More than one third (37%) who have tried an inhalant have done so as early as the 8th grade.

Males have somewhat higher rates of illicit drug use than females.

It is not just in the city. In the last few years, the use of a number of drugs has declined in the urban (city) areas, leaving the non-urban areas with higher rates of use.

Many drugs are "cut" with or contain other drugs within them. These combinations increase the danger for an adverse reaction. This is especially true with the drug known as Ecstasy.

Mixing alcohol with drugs most often increases the risk of harmful or adverse effects of that drug.

In 1999, over 500,000 serious drug-related emergency room episodes were reported. 52,783 were students, ages 12 to 17, representing over 10% of the illnesses or deaths recorded.


National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2000
National Center for Health Statistics, 1995
DAWN 2000, Drug Abuse Warning Network, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

CWK Network 2000