Drug and Alcohol Abuse

In 2009, 10% of youth (ages 12-17) were current illicit drug users: 7.3% used marijuana, 3.1% engaged in non-medical use of prescription-type psycho-therapeutics, 1% used inhalants, and 0.9% used hallucinogens. Among persons age 12 and older, American Indians/Alaskan Natives displayed the highest rates of any racial group for cigarette (43.5%) and marijuana use (31.6%) in the month prior to the survey.

In the 2009 YRBSS, 72.5% of all youth reported alcohol use at least once in their lifetime, while 41.8% reported drinking alcohol at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey. American Indians/Alaskan Natives and Hispanics reported the highest minority rates of alcohol use in the 30 days prior to the survey. Additionally, adolescents engage in more risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex when under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Of sexually active high school youth, 21.6% drank alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse. Moreover, 9.7% of all high school youth have driven after they had been drinking alcohol, and almost 30% have ridden with someone who was driving under the influence in the 30 days prior to the 2009 YRBSS survey.