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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 188497 Find in a Library
Title: Substance Abuse: The Nation's Number One Health Problem
Author(s): Nels Ericson
Corporate Author: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: May 2001
Page Count: 2
Sponsoring Agency: Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Publication Number: FS-200117
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF|Text
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on a study that examined trends in patterns of adult and youth smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use over the past three decades.
Abstract: The report contains data from several hundred public and private sources that reported "snapshots" and long-term trends in patterns of adult and youth substance abuse, consequences to society, and approaches for combating the problem. The report discusses the role the media have played in influencing youth substance use and looks at how treatment is seriously underused, even though numerous studies have shown treatment to be effective. Findings show that juveniles are experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco at young ages. The research suggests that significant changes in drug awareness occur between the ages of 12 and 13. Young adults (ages 18-25) are more likely to engage in the heavy use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco than all other age groups. By the eighth grade, 52 percent of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 41 percent have smoked cigarettes, and 20 percent have used marijuana. By the 12th grade, about 80 percent have used alcohol, 63 percent have smoked cigarettes, and 49 percent have used marijuana. The media play a critical role in shaping perceptions of the risks of substance use. Increases in substance use among youth between the early 1990's and 1996 were linked to a decline in the prevalence of warning and antidrug messages from the media, parents, and schools; the proliferation of pro-use messages from the entertainment industry; and high levels of tobacco and alcohol product advertising and promotion. Research shows that only one-fourth of individuals who abuse alcohol and illicit drugs receive treatment. Recent studies have shown that after 6 months, treatment for alcoholism is successful for 40 to 70 percent of patients; cocaine treatment is successful for 50 to 60 percent; and opiate treatment is successful for 50 to 80 percent, with effectiveness defined as a 50-percent reduction in substance use after 6 months. This research also shows that treatment, even treatment for relapses into substance abuse, is less expensive than incarceration and untreated addiction.
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Drug treatment; Juvenile drug treatment; Media-crime relationships; Studies of alcohol in the media; Tobacco use; Underage Drinking
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