Results from 2010 Dayton Area Drug Survey Suggest Long-Running Decline in Substance Abuse Among Teens is Reversing

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Results from the 2010 Dayton Area Drug Survey (DADS) suggest the long-running trend of declining drug use by teens may be ending. For example, the percentage of 12th grade students reporting ever having been drunk increased from 54.3 percent in 2008 to 55.2 percent in 2010, with similar sized increases occurring for 7th and 9th graders as well. For the first time in many years, the percentage of teens reporting experience with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco increased. Marijuana initiation also increased over 2008 levels. And while the increases were generally small, they may be a harbinger of an upward swing in youthful drug use. The 2010 results were presaged by the mixed news from the 2008 DADS where it appeared the decline in the initiation of use had stalled with high school seniors. Notably, there are epidemiological indicators from several recent national surveys that also suggest the decline has leveled out and may be tilting upwards, at least for some drugs. Consequently, what is happening here in the Dayton area may be part of a national trend.