Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2006 (NIH Publication No. 07-6202)

The percentage of U.S. adolescents who use illicit drugs or drink alcohol continued a decade-long drop in 2006, according to the 32nd annual Monitoring the Future survey of 50,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in more than 400 schools nationwide. This year's survey reveals that a fifth (21 percent) of today's 8th graders, over a third (36 percent) of 10th graders, and about half (48 percent) of all 12th graders have ever taken any illicit drug during their lifetime. The proportion saying they used any illicit drug in the prior 12 months (called “annual prevalence”) continued to decline in 2006, and the rates (15 percent, 29 percent, and 37 percent in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, respectively) are now down from recent peak levels in the mid-1990s by about one third in 8th grade, one quarter in 10th grade, and one eighth in 12th grade. However, the declines since last year are relatively small-only 0.7, 1.0, and 1.9 percentage points, respectively.