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Survey Indicates Prescription Drug Abuse Decline

Abuse of prescription drugs by Americans 12 and older dropped significantly in 2008 from the previous year, according to results from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The survey also indicated declines in the usage rates of methamphetamines and cocaine. Despite these declines, the overall rate of illicit drug use remained steady at approximately 8 percent.

The report said that although the rate of marijuana use among 12- to 17-year-olds has remained stable at about 6.7 percent for the past several years, results indicated the rate of alcohol, tobacco and prescription drug abuse has dropped. The rate of binge drinking among full-time college students also decreased to 16.3 percent in 2008 from 19.5 percent in 2007.

However, the survey also indicated that LSD and Ecstasy use among young adults rose in 2008, although use still remained below the peak levels recorded in 2002.