What kinds of drugs are the kids into these days? The question is what kinds of drugs AREN’T the kids into these days! I kid, I kid. The answer is weed.
In fact, about 25 percent of eight, tenth and 12th-grade Americans smoked Marijuana in the last year, up from 21.4 percent in 2007, according to a study by the University of Michigan and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Furthermore, about 6.6 percent of high school seniors are hitting the bong daily or near-daily, according to the study.
But that’s old news. Everybody knows kids like to get stoned and do whatever it is that kids do when they’re stoned. The bigger news here is what they turn to when they can’t get their hands on some pot. Research shows that 11.4 percent of seniors used spice or K2 in the last year, despite the fact that, unlike marijuana, the stuff is all chemicals and gross and not also used commonly as a medicine.
But just as something comes into style, something else must fall. As kids are lighting up their weed and synthetic weed, they’re eschewing cigarettes and alcohol. Don Draper just did a spit-take. About 40 percent of seniors admitted to having a drink in the last month, down from 54 percent in 1991. Tenth-graders are down to 27 percent from 43 and eighth-graders are down to 13 percent from 25. Cigarettes have fallen even more. About 10 percent of seniors said they smoke daily, compared to 24.6 percent in 1997.
“This is very good news for the health and longevity of these young people,” Lloyd Johnston, research scientist at the University of Michigan and the principal investigator of the study, told CNN. “Even a reduction of only one percentage point can translate into thousands of premature deaths being prevented.” Great news! But what about the other stuff? You know, the marijuana stuff.
“We must be clear with our young people,” Gil Kerlikoeske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told CNN. “Smoked marijuana is not an FDA approved medicine and the National Institute of Health has long documented the harms of marijuana use. Science shows it is addictive. Research shows it impairs driving. Studies show it can degrade academic performance.”
According to the federal government’s drug classification, marijuana is one of the worst drugs out there, ranked alongside the likes of heroin, crack, LSD and dozens of other weird chemicals. One classification lower is your cocaine, morphine, oxycodone and meth. It’s no surprise that the feds are pretty upset at the news that kids are smoking one of the most harmful plants in existence ever, according to their classifications.
So the tobacco and booze might be down, but kids will be kids and they’ll always find some way to keep getting high. Take away spice and they’ll move on to something else. Take that away and who knows what kind of weirdo chemicals teenagers will put in their bodies. You can’t stop the youth, people.