Monitoring the Future 2017 Survey Results

This infographic of the NIH’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey highlights drug use trends among the Nation’s youth for marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes (e-vaporizers), and prescription opioids. 


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Text Description of 2017 MTF Infographic

Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. Since 1975, the survey has measured how teens report their drug and alcohol use and related attitudes in 12th graders nationwide; 8th and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991.

43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participates in the 2017 survey.

Figure 1: Daily Marijuana Use Mostly steady

From 2007 to 2017, daily marijuana use was mostly steady among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders.

In 2017, daily marijuana use for each grade was:
8th grade: 0.8%
10th grade: 2.9%
12th grade: 5.9%
71.0 percent of high school seniors do not view regular marijuana smoking as being harmful, but 64.7 percent say they disapprove of regular marijuana smoking.

Figure 2: Binge Drinking Rates Steady after Decades of Decline.

Since 1992, binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the last 2 weeks) appears to have leveled off this year, but is significantly lower than peak years.

Peak years for binge drinking for each grade:
8th grade: 1996 (13.3%)
10th grade: 2000 (24.1%)
12th grade 1998 (31.5%)

In 2017, binge drinking rates for each grade:
8th grade: 3.7%
10th grade: 9.8%
12th graders: 16.6%

Figure 3: Past-Year E-Vaporizer Use and What Teens are Inhaling

Nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report past-year use of e-vaporizers in 2017, raising concerns about the impact on their long-term health.

In 2017, past-year use for each grade:
8th grade: 13.3%
10th grade: 23.9%
12th grade: 27.8%

The survey also asked students what they thought was in the e-vaporizer mist the last time they smoked. These were their responses:

8th grade: 10%
10th grade: 25.1%
12th grade: 32.8%

Marijuana or hash oil:
8th grade: 8.9%
10th grade: 10.7%
12th grade: 11.1%

Just flavoring:
8th grade: 74.8%
10th grade: 59.2
12th grade: 51.8%

8th grade: 0.2%
10th grade: 0.5%
12th grade: 0.7%

Don’t know:
8th grade: 6.1%
10th grade: 4.6 %
12th grade: 3.7%

Figure 4: Teens More Likely to Use Marijuana Than Cigarettes

Since 1992, there has been a significant decline in daily cigarette use among 12th graders, while the rate of daily marijuana use has increased. In its peak year (1997), daily cigarette use among 12th grades was 24.6 percent, compared to a rate of 4.2 percent in 2017. In its lowest year of use (1992), daily use of marijuana among 12th graders was 1.9 percent, compared to a rate of 5.9 percent in 2017.

Figure 5: Prescription/Over-the-Counter versus Illicit Drugs

Past-year misuse of Vicodin® among 12th graders has dropped dramatically in the past 15 years, from 9.6 percent in 2002 to 2.0 percent in 2017. So has misuse of all prescription opioids among 12th graders despite high opioid overdose rates among adults.

Past-year misuse of prescription/OTC drugs among 12th graders in 2017 were:
Adderall®: 5.5%
Tranquilizers: 4.7%
Opioids other than heroin: 4.2%
Cough/cold medicine: 3.2%
Sedatives: 2.9%
Ritalin®: 1.3%

Past-year use of illicit drugs among 12th graders in 2017 were:
Marijuana/hashish: 37.1%
Synthetic cannabinoids*: 3.7%
LSD: 3.3%
Cocaine: 2.7%
MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly): 2.6%
Inhalants: 1.5%
Heroin: 0.4%

Students Report Lowest Rates Since Start of the Survey
Across all grades, past-year use of heroin, methamphetamine, cigarettes, and synthetic cannabinoids* are at their lowest by many measures. (*called “synthetic marijuana” in survey)

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