Study: Cigarette, opioid use down in teens - WNEM TV 5

Study: Cigarette, opioid use down in teens

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A new report is digging deeper into drug and alcohol use among teens.

While teenage drinking, smoking and drug use overall are stable, there is an increasing trend of teens vaping and using marijuana.

"With teens and late teens some of the things I've heard is it's cool, everybody's doing it," said Darren McAllister, program leader at Sacred Heart in Flint.

He helps people dealing with substance abuse.

According to a study released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, vaping in teens is up but teenage opioid use is down.

McAllister said vaping is the main concern of his in the study.

"It's easier for someone to transition to cigarettes so if they start to vape opposed to not doing it, all vapers are more prone to try cigarettes," McAllister said.

McAllister said there are major risks associated with vaping, such as potential toxic ingredients and devices that pose a fire risk.

Leilani Edmonds is a therapist that works with people struggling with drug addiction. She said the decrease in opioid use in teens is promising, especially because of a major epidemic some adults are currently fighting. She thanks the doctors.

"When it comes to the doctors prescribing, they're not really giving these kids prescriptions like that anymore. It seems like there's a little bit more due diligence and the doctors are not just pushing pills," Edmonds said.

The study also indicates marijuana is more popular with teens than smoking cigarettes.

In 1997, nearly 24 percent of all 12th graders smoked cigarettes. That number is down to 4.2 percent.

Marijuana use is up to almost 6 percent of teen users. In '97 it was at 1.9 percent.

McAllister things vaping and marijuana could be related.

"Things been on a downward trend for awhile, but now with so many teens vaping I could see how smoking marijuana would correlate and be on the rise," McAllister said.

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