U-M study finds teen use of illicit drugs down as pandemic continues

Fentanyl Opioids CNN
Posted at 10:07 AM, Dec 15, 2021

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Professors at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research have conducted an annual survey amongst students in grades 8,10, and 12 asking the youth if they have ever used any illicit drug other than marijuana. Based on the study, there is a 25% decrease in 2021. According to the press release, the percentage in 12th grade dropped 27%.

Principal Investigator of the studyRichard Miech says in a press release, "As a result, this year, it appears that a sizable portion of adolescents have not used drugs who otherwise may have done so. Will these declines stick with these cohorts as they age? It is possible that this delayed onset of drug use will lower these adolescents' levels of drug use for the rest of their lives.”

University of Michigan’s research also found significant declines in the use of a wide range of drugs, including cocaine, hallucinogens, and nonmedical use of amphetamines, tranquilizers, and prescription opioids.

Compared to other illicit drugs, the use of marijuana, alcohol, and vaped nicotine also declined.

The study also reports on teens' mental health. This year all students were asked if they have felt any increases or decreases with depression and anxiety symptoms.

Miech says in the release, “In addition, the findings raise the possibility that the pandemic may leave a lasting impact on the mental health of today's adolescents, even after the pandemic recedes.”