Washington, Dec 13 (UNI) There has been an overall decline of about 24 per cent in the use of illegal drugs by American teenagers between 2001 and 2007, says a new study.
There are an estimated 860,000 fewer children using drugs than six years ago. The study shows the sharpest decline in illicit drug use among the youngest teens, with the biggest cuts in the use of marijuana and stimulants.
The study, conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, calls for paying more attention to the abuse of legal drugs that teens find in their own homes, such as cold and cough medicine and strong prescription medications for pain.
The proportion of eighth graders reporting use of an illicit drug at least once in the 12 months prior to the survey was 24 per cent in 1996. It now has fallen to 13 per cent, a drop of nearly half.
President Bush welcomed the news, saying ''We have had enough.
Because law enforcement worked hard - communities are safer, families are stronger, and more children have the hope of a healthy and happy life.'' He said that cutting the supply was only part of the answer to the problem of teenage drug abuse.
''If we have people - fewer people using, there is not going to be a need to supply as much,'' he said.
The President said, ''On the front lines of this efforts are parents, are teachers, are counselors who are sending our kids a clear message: Drug use is not fun, it is not glamorous, it is harmful.'' UNI