Alcohol and other drug abuse on the rise among U.S. teens

Alcohol and other drug abuse on the rise among U.S. teensA survey indicates the number of U. S. teens who say they used alcohol or drugs rose in 2009 compared with 2008.

The study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the MetLife Foundation says that thirty-nine percent of U. S. teens say they used alcohol in the past month in 2009, up from 35 percent in 2008, while ecstasy use indicated a 67 percent increase -- from 6 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2009 -- and marijuana use went from 32 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2009.

The data indicate a reverse in the sustained declines in substance abuse among teens from 1998-2008.

Patricia Russo, chairwoman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, said in a statement," We're very troubled by this upswing that has implications not just for parents, who are the main focus of the partnership's efforts, but for the country as a whole."

The study says that the percentage of teens saying that "being high feels good" increased from 45 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2009, while those saying that "friends usually get high at parties" increased from 69 percent to 75 percent over the same period. (With input from agencies)

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