Drug use has edged downward among teens nationwide, with the biggest decreases driven by teens in the Midwest and South, according to a national survey on drug and alcohol use. USA Today reports that children 12 to 17 years old who reported using any illicit drug in the past month declined from 11.4% to 10.9% between 2002 and 2004. States that saw the biggest declines in teen drug use were Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia and Vermont.
The study, to be released today by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, combines data from interviews of 135,500 people in 2003 and 2004 as part of the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Among its findings: alcohol use ranged from a low of 29.3% in Utah to 62.1% in Wisconsin. Alaska had the highest rate of illegal drug use in the nation for the second year in a row. Mississippi displaced Utah for the lowest rate.