A new federal study finds that drug and alcohol use among American teens has fallen over the past 10 years.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) surveyed 70,000 people age 12 and up. According to the annual poll, rates of alcohol use between ages 12 and 17 fell to 11.6 percent in 2013, from 13 percent in 2012. Binge drinking rates also dropped from 7 percent to 6 percent.
Between 2002 and 2013, substance abuse problems and drug dependencies among 12- to 17-year-olds saw a drop-off from 8.9 percent to 5.2 percent. Drug abuse rates among this age group also declined from 12 percent to 9.5 percent over the same 10-year period. A year later, this number fell even further to under 9 percent.
DUI statistics also appear to trending downward. In 2002, 14 percent of preteens reported driving under the influence. In 2013, that number was reduced to 11 percent.
But while rates of alcohol and tobacco use are decreasing, marijuana use is growing. By far the most commonly used drug among teens, nearly 20 million Americans reported smoking marijuana in 2013, accounting for 7.5 percent of the country's age 12 and up population -- a notable uptick from 6 percent in 2007.
"This report shows that we have made important progress in some key areas, but that we need to rejuvenate our efforts to promote prevention, treatment and recovery, to reach all aspects of our community," said Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA administrator, in a press release.
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