Pot and alcohol use among teenagers is on the rise, ending a decade-long decline, says a new study.
The number of high school students who said they drank alcohol in the last month rose 11 percent in 2009, with 39 percent of teens (or 6.5 million) reporting that they drink, says a annual survey released by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
AdvertisementFor pot, 25 percent of teens reported smoking marijuana in the last month, up from 19 percent.
Until last year, those measures for pot and alcohol use had been on a steady decline since 1998, when use hovered around 50 percent of teens for alcohol and 27 percent for pot.
"The new increase in usage is worrisome because historically, you usually see an increase in recreational drugs before you see increases in some of the harder drugs," the New York Daily News quoted Sean Clarkin, director of strategy at The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, as saying.
"But when you have steady cuts in federal drug prevention efforts and a pop culture where kids get the impression from a zillion clips on YouTube that getting high is normal, eventually that's going to catch up with you," Clarkin added.
The survey also found that more kids are using the party drug Ecstasy, with 6 percent of teens reporting that they had used it in the past month, versus 5 percent in 2008.
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