Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, thinks the report provides data that can be used by drug prevention programs.
"This report provides a rich array of data characterizing the trends in drug use," Katz said. "In many cases, such as tobacco, the trends are favorable. In some, such as heroin, they are stable, and the use of a drug known as Ecstasy actually increased over the period of study."
Overall, nearly half of high school students will have tried an illegal drug before graduation, Katz said. "Progress has been made, but there is clearly work left to do."
Prevention and education campaigns can do a better job if they target the specific drugs that are popular at a given time, Katz said. "By doing this, and keeping the list of culprits perennially current, we might more effectively avoid the movement from one drug to another," he said.
For more on drug abuse, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
SOURCES: Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E., director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dec. 11, 2008, report, Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use, National Institute on Drug Abuse
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