A national study considered an important indicator of youth drug abuse showed progress with some drugs but widespread problems with marijuana and prescription or over-the-counter drugs, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The study by the University of Michigan for the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 7 of the 10 drugs most abused by high school seniors are prescription or over-the-counter drugs acquired primarily from teens' friends or relatives.
The study focused on eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-graders. Within that group, use-rates for some substances have improved – notably hallucinogens and cocaine by 12th graders and methamphetamines among eighth graders. Cigarette use, too, continued to drop significantly. Use of inhalants by 10th-graders increased, and use of marijuana across all three grade-levels increased. The study attributed the rise, at least in part, to the growing acceptance of marijuana use for medicinal purposes. That trend has made the drug appear less dangerous to teens, the study said.