The resilience of drug markets during the pandemic has demonstrated once again traffickers’ ability to adapt quickly to changed environments and circumstances. Drug markets on the dark web only emerged a decade ago but major ones are now worth at least US$ 315 million in annual sales. Although this is just a fraction of overall drug sales, the trend is upwards with a fourfold increase between 2011 to mid-2017 teen drug abuse and mid-2017 to 2020. The 2023 Monitoring the Future data tables highlighting the survey results are available online from the University of Michigan. Research has improved our understanding of factors that help buffer youth from a variety of risky behaviors, including substance use. Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S.
Drug overdose deaths among adolescents increased substantially beginning in late 2019. Although deaths appear to have begun declining in late 2021, they are still alarmingly higher than in 2019. Collaboration among public health and safety agencies, physicians, mental health and substance use treatment providers, and educators to implement these efforts could save lives. Median monthly overdose deaths among persons aged 10–19 years (adolescents) increased 109% from July–December 2019 to July–December 2021; deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyls (IMFs) increased 182%.
Why is CDC addressing youth high-risk substance use?
The resources on this webpage cover a variety of drug-related issues, including information on drug use, emergency room data, prevention and treatment programs, and other research findings. For the purposes of addressing HIV and STD prevention, high-risk substance use is any use by adolescents of substances with a high risk of adverse outcomes (i.e., injury, criminal justice involvement, school dropout, loss of life). For more information about opioids and overdose deaths, see our reports on Fentanyl Abuse and Drug Overdose Death Rates. She adds that schools need to play an important role in addressing this, not just by adopting curricula like the one she and her colleagues created, but also by making naloxone, the overdose medication, easily available to their students.
- Teenagers in Alaska are 25.67% more likely to have used drugs in the last month than the average American teen.
- The resilience of drug markets during the pandemic has demonstrated once again traffickers’ ability to adapt quickly to changed environments and circumstances.
- Teenagers in Michigan are 6.95% more likely to have used drugs in the last month than the average American teen.
For the survey, students self-report their substance use behaviors over various time periods, such as past 30 days, past 12 months and lifetime. The survey also documents students’ perception of harm, disapproval of use and perceived availability of drugs. During July 2019–December 2021, a total of 1,808 adolescent overdose deaths occurred in 32 jurisdictions with available trend data.
Does My Teenager Need Rehab?
Jurisdictions reported deaths for all 6-month periods from July 2019 to December 2021. Illinois, Missouri, and Washington reported deaths from counties that accounted for ≥75% of drug overdose deaths in the state in 2017, per SUDORS funding requirements; all other jurisdictions reported deaths from the full jurisdiction. Educating adolescents about the dangers of IMFs and counterfeit pills, working with public safety to reduce availability of illicit drugs, and ensuring access to evidence-based substance use and mental health treatment could save lives. Quarterly rates of unintentional drug overdose deaths among teens remained elevated well into 2022, according to a NIDA analysis of CDC and Census data. Similar data had previously been reported by CDC and others through Q4 2021, and this NIDA analysis provides an update on trends through Q overall and by sex. These data emphasize that teen overdose continues to be an issue that needs to be addressed, and shed some light on the post-pandemic state of teen overdose.