Teen Drug Use

June 3, 2011 • Volume 21, Issue 21
Do weaker drug laws encourage youths to try pot?
By Peter Katel


David Rozga (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Police say 18-year-old David Rozga, of Indianola, Iowa, shown in framed photo, “freaked out” and committed suicide last year after smoking the marijuana look-alike drug K2. His parents, Mike and Jan Rozga, above, with their son Daniel, urged state officials to make the drug illegal. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Teen drug consumption is on the rise in the United States after years of decline. Marijuana is the major substance involved, but use of the hallucinogen Ecstasy also has risen. The trends are reported in “Monitoring the Future,” an annual survey of high school students conducted since 1975 by University of Michigan researchers. The latest survey results are adding fuel to the ongoing national debate over drug policy. Some experts argue that a recent wave of state medical-marijuana laws, as well as statutes that eliminate criminal penalties for personal use of pot, have persuaded teens that drugs such as marijuana are innocuous. That notion is especially dangerous to young people predisposed to addiction, specialists in teen drug use say. Proponents of drug legalization counter that no hard evidence exists of a connection between teen use and drug-law changes.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Drug Abuse and Trafficking
Aug. 06, 2021  Opioid Crisis
Jul. 24, 2019  Opioid Addiction
Jun. 14, 2018  Opioid Addiction
Jun. 29, 2017  Drug Abuse
Oct. 07, 2016  Opioid Crisis
Jul. 19, 2016  Drug Abuse
May 02, 2014  Treating Addiction
Jun. 03, 2011  Teen Drug Use
Jun. 12, 2009  Legalizing Marijuana Updated
Dec. 12, 2008  Mexico's Drug War
Feb. 09, 2007  Combating Addiction
Jun. 02, 2006  War on Drugs
Jul. 15, 2005  Methamphetamine
Jul. 28, 2000  Drug-Policy Debate
Nov. 20, 1998  Drug Testing
Jan. 06, 1995  Treating Addiction
Mar. 19, 1993  War on Drugs
Feb. 23, 1990  Does the War on Drugs Need a New Strategy?
May 20, 1988  The Business of Illicit Drugs
Jan. 23, 1987  Experimental Drugs
Feb. 08, 1985  The Fight Against Drug Smuggling
Aug. 27, 1982  Cocaine: Drug of the Eighties
Jun. 11, 1982  Prescription-Drug Abuse
Jan. 23, 1976  Changing U.S. Drug Policy
Dec. 13, 1972  World Drug Traffic
May 27, 1970  Heroin Addiction
Jan. 27, 1965  Psychotoxic Drugs
Jul. 18, 1962  Narcotics Addiction: Punishment or Treatment
Sep. 05, 1956  Control of Drug Addiction
Mar. 28, 1951  Drug Addiction
Marijuana Legalization
Substance Abuse