Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998. Teen Behavior Risk Factor 7. Teen Alcohol and Substance Abuse

10/01/1998

Teen alcohol and substance abuse are important examples of teen problem behavior and may increase the risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

Figure TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997


  • Source: Table TEEN 7.
  • Although both binge and heavy alcohol use declined among teens ages 12 to 17 throughout most of the period, the percentage of teens abusing alcohol rose slightly in 1997.
  • Marijuana use among teens declined fairly continuously through the 1980s but has risen fairly sharply since, from a minimum of 4 percent in 1991 to 9 percent in 1997. It is still below the 14 percent level occurring in 1979.
  • As shown in Table TEEN 7, cocaine use more than tripled between 1994 and 1997, and in 1997 was at its highest level (1 percent) since 1988.

Table TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

  1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1996 1997

Note: Cocaine and marijuana use is defined as use during the past month. “Binge" Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days. "Occasion" means at the same time or within a couple hours of each other. Heavy Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days; all Heavy Alcohol Users are also "Binge" Alcohol Users.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Estimates, 1998.

Cocaine 1.5 1.9 1.5 1.2 0.4 0.3 0.6 1.0
Marijuana 14.2 9.9 10.2 5.4 3.6 6.0 7.1 9.4
Binge Alcohol Use NA NA 21.9 15.1 13.2 8.3 7.2 8.3
Heavy Alcohol Use NA NA 9.5 4.0 6.0 2.5 2.9 3.1

 

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"Indicators of Dependence" (pdf, 152.45Kb)

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"Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt (First Half)" (pdf, 158.1Kb)

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