The full text of this policy statement including references will appear in an upcoming issue of Pediatrics.
Pervasiveness of Drug Use
The pattern of substance abuse among teenagers has undergone significant change during the past 30 years. Prior to the late 1960s, the abuse of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs including tobacco was predominantly by adults. Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, substance abuse became widespread among adolescents and more recently among preadolescents. In addition to alcohol and tobacco, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, marijuana, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and prescription and nonprescription medications and inhalants (volatile substances) are used/abused by many teenagers and a growing number of pre-teens. The use of even drugs like tobacco in this age group represent a significant health threat and are associated with an increased likelihood of future use of marijuana and other illegal drugs.