Illegal Drugs


Substance Abuse (Illegal Drugs)

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in America.  In a 2001 survey, over 12 million Americans over the age of 11 had used marijuana at least once in the month prior to the survey9.  

Health effects from marijuana use are profound. It affects the brain by distorting perception, inhibiting thinking and problem solving and interfering with coordination.  Marijuana dramatically increases the risk of heart attack and, like cigarette smoking, causes respiratory problems such as coughing, infections, and lung cancer9.

Cocaine and heroin abuse is also problematic, not only among American teenagers, but among teens world-wide.  The following tables display data from 2002 on the prevalence of cocaine and heroin abuse among US teens:

Cocaine Use by US Students, 2002
  8th Grade 10th Grade 12th Grade
Ever Used 3.6% 6.1% 7.8%
Used in Past Year 2.3% 4.0% 5.0%
Used in Past Month 1.1% 1.6% 2.3%

 

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