White House report shows progress on lowering rates of youth substance use

The Trump Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said Monday its latest report shows the program is continuing to reduce youth substance use.

In the 2020 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) report, data from the coalitions in DFC indicates that youth use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are down, as is the misuse of prescription drugs. ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said that 51 percent of the U.S. population has lived in a community with a DFC coalition since 2005.

The data showed a 45 percent decline in tobacco use among high school students, and a 46 percent decline in tobacco use among middle school students. Additionally, the data showed a 24 percent decline in alcohol use in high school students and a 22 percent decline in alcohol use in middle school students. The report also indicated there was a 27 percent decline in prescription drug misuse among high school students.

“Stopping substance use disorders in America starts with educating our country’s youth about their danger,” Carroll said. “Thanks to the dedication of President Trump and the proven efforts of our Drug-Free Communities grant recipients, our next generation is learning at an early age to make healthy choices, reject using illicit substances, and are being empowered by their communities to be leaders of today — youth in DFC funded communities are creating community change across the country, resulting in positive outcomes. ONDCP applauds the hundreds of coalitions committed to the safety of young Americans, and the record investments of the Trump Administration that continue to make their work possible.”

However, the data also indicated additional need it two areas – opioid use and vaping, and that the coalitions are working to address them.

“Additionally, we know that 86 percent of coalitions report there is an increased need to address issues related to opioids in their local community. At 58 percent, there’s also an increase in the number of coalitions that cite vaping as a growing concern, up 11 percentage points over the previous year. To address these concerns, DFC coalitions are developing innovative local solutions to build capacity and address these challenges, Carroll stated.

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