Teen drug use fell in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Their survey, released this week, found that ecstasy, LSD, nicotine, alcohol and marijuana use all significantly declined amongst teenagers. The percentage of eighth graders using any illicit drug is at its lowest point since 1993, and for high school sophomores since 1995. The only negative findings the survey did report were that cocaine and heroin use remained stable, while crack and sedative use increased significantly.
"Teen drug use is once again headed in the right direction – down," said John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The longest-term decrease has been observed in cigarette smoking, which has steadily declined since 1996. Plus, the number of perceived drug-related harms has also risen.