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Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Deputy Director James Carroll released the following statement regarding the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, which found decreases in prescription opioid use among teenagers over the past year.

“It’s critical we reach young Americans at an early age to educate them about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and these results are an encouraging sign of real progress. That is why we have launched public awareness campaigns and are working with private sector partners to educate young adults about the dangers of addictive opioids. However, there is still a lot of work to do to address the abuse of both prescription opioids and illegal drugs in our communities. To meet these challenges, we will continue to invest in education efforts for our youth and work closely with healthcare providers to implement safe prescribing practices,” ONDCP Deputy Director James Carroll said.

MTF found that use of prescription narcotics among 12th graders decreased from 4.2% in 2017 to 3.4% in 2018, and is down from the peak years in lifetime, annual, and current use. Past year use of specific prescription narcotics such as OxyContin and Vicodin also decreased among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, compared with levels five years ago.

MTF is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). MTF is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The published study can be found here.