Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll released the following statement in response to the 2020 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, which included data tracking youth substance misuse during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“The Trump Administration has dedicated a historic level of resources to ensuring the youth of our Nation are informed of the dangers of illicit substance use — information that remains critically important. This year’s data indicates rates of youth substance misuse, collected prior to the proclamation of a state of emergency due to COVID, are similar to those in 2019. While we were fortunate not to see increases in use over the past year, we must not become complacent. As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must be mindful of the impact of the pandemic on youth and families and the toll drug use takes on our country and especially on our next generation.”
This year’s report showed that rates of illicit substance use among youth in 2020 remained similar to those in 2019. Notably, after rapidly increasing from 2017 to 2019, the rate of past-year and past-month marijuana vaping showed no statistically significant change from 2019 to 2020. At the same time, there was a statistically significant decrease in rates of daily marijuana vaping among 10th graders.
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). Early termination of data collection resulted in smaller sample sizes in 2020. However, they were sufficient to yield statistically meaningful findings in most areas. MTF is conducted by the Institute for Social Research Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. The published study can be found here.