Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses the 2017 MTF Results

Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses the 2017 MTF Results
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    [Dr. Volkow speaking] Well this year we have very good news because overall we are observing that
    the pattern of drug use among teenagers in the United States is continued to go
    down and its most notable, for example in the case of opioid drugs and this is of
    course of great interest because we're in the mist of an opioid crisis so there's been
    concern that teenagers would also be starting to take these drugs and suffer
    the consequences. But in fact we are observing, for example some of the lowest
    rates of opioid use that we have been monitoring through the, through the
    survey. So that's very good news but we're also seeing continued decreases in
    cigarette smoking that are at the lowest levels that we've ever seen. We're seeing
    decreases in all the other illicit substances. The only area where we're not
    seeing decreases and we had observed that last year is marijuana.
    So that despite the fact that drug use is decreasing basically across most of
    the drugs marijuana is quite stable. An area that we are... we need to monitor very
    carefully is that more and more teenagers are using vaping devices in order
    to take drugs. Among 12th graders the past year use of vaping is 27.8% and now
    we're asking through the survey what substances are they vaping and out of
    those 18.8% of 12th graders reported that in the past year they vape nicotine.
    Why is this important? Because nicotine is addictive and studies have shown that
    when teenagers start to vape nicotine than they are at much higher risk of
    smoking tobacco of transferring into combustible tobacco, which is of course
    associated with very negative medical effects and to the extent that we do not
    know what is the nature,how…how well they know what they are taking and how
    it is easy once you start vaping a flavor to transfer into the drug this is
    these are behaviors that we need to look at very carefully.
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