Monitoring the Future 2019 Survey Results: Overall Findings

This infographic of the NIH’s 2019 Monitoring the Future survey highlights drug use trends among the Nation’s youth for marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs.


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For more information on MTF 2019 Survey findings specific to Vaping:

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, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th graders nationwide; 8th and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991.

42,531 Students from 396 public and private schools participated in the 2019 survey.  

Figure 1. Illicit Drug Use
Past year use of illicit drugs among 12th graders remained steady.

Any illicit drugs 38%

Illicit drugs not including marijuana 11.5%

Past year use of illicit drugs:
Marijuana                     35.7%
LSD                               3.6%
Synthetic Cannabinoids 3.3%
Cocaine                        2.2%
MDMA                         2.2%
Heroin                          0.4%

Figure 2. Daily Marijuana Use in Lower Grades Increases But Past Year Marijuana Use Steady
Both 8th and 10th graders reported significant increase in daily marijuana use between 2018 and 2019.

2018 Daily Marijuana Use
8th grade           0.7%
10th grade         3.4%
12th grade         5.8%

2019 Daily Marijuana Use
8th grade           1.3%
10th grade         4.8%
12th grade         6.4%

Past year marijuana use – gap closing between older grades
8th grade           11.8%
10th grade         28.8%
12th grade         35.7%

Figure 3. Prescription Drug Misuse Continues Decline from Peak Years


Peak Years
8th grade:          3.0% (2006)
10th grade:        8.1% (2009)
12th grade:        10.5% (2003)

8th grade           0.9%
10th grade         1.1%
12th grade         1.1%


Peak Years
8th grade:          2.6% (2006)
10th grade:        5.1% (2009)
12th grade:        5.5% (2005)

8th grade           1.2%
10th grade         2.0%
12th grade         1.7%

Adderall® Misuse Sees Significant Changes in Past 5 Years

Decrease in 10th and 12th grades but an increase in 8th grades

8th grade           1.3%
10th grade         4.6%
12th grade         6.8%

8th grade           2.5%
10th grade         3.1%
12th grade         3.9%

Figure 4. Tobacco and Nicotine: Vaping Threatens Progress

Nicotine – Daily Use

Daily Smoking
8th grade           0.8%
10th grade         1.3%
12th grade         2.4%*

*Significant decline from 2018 (3.6%)

Daily Nicotine Vaping
8th grade           1.9%
10th grade         6.9%
12th grade         11.7%

Cigarette Smoking (Past Month) Declines Over Past Ten Years
8th grade           2.3%
10th grade         3.4%
12th grade         5.7%*

*Significant decline from 2018 (7.6%)

Figure 5. Alcohol Use Continues to Decline

Significant Long-Term Decrease in All Grades

8th grade           19.3%
10th grade         37.7%
12th grade         52.1%

Binge Drinking* Significant Long-Term Decrease in All Grades

8th grade           3.8%
10th grade         8.5%
12th grade        14.4%

*5 or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks

For more information on MTF 2019 Survey findings specific to Vaping:

This publication is available for your use and may be reproduced in its entirety without permission from NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated, using the following language: Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.