Indiana University

News Release

Monday, July 31, 2006

Last modified: Monday, July 31, 2006

Survey shows a shift in drug use among Indiana adolescents

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Smokeless tobacco, injection drugs on the rise; links to school activities and performance also shown

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Results from the 16th Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use by Indiana Children and Adolescents, conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University Bloomington, suggest that shifts are taking place in the types of drugs used by some youth and the manner in which these drugs are used, with increases seen in smokeless tobacco and injection drugs. The survey results also offer insight into the consequences of drug use for adolescents, links between drug use and school performance, and the preventive potential of after-school activities.

The 2006 results were obtained from analyses of data collected from 131,017 students in grades six through 12 in both public and private schools in Indiana. The purpose of the survey is to measure alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, along with other related behaviors, on a statewide and local basis for planning and evaluation of prevention programs.

The full report will be available online on Monday (July 31) at The following are major points from the survey results:

Gateway drugs. "Research has shown that the majority of individuals' illicit drug use occurs only after they use cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, so they are known as the 'gateway drugs,'" said Ruth Gassman, executive director of the IPRC. Survey results from the past 13 years demonstrate that first use follows a consistent pattern: first cigarettes, then alcohol, followed by marijuana, with initial use occurring most often between the ages of 12 and 14.

Other drugs.

School activities and performance.

Related behaviors.

The IPRC is operated by the Indiana University Department of Applied Health Science and the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and is affiliated with the department's Institute for Drug Abuse Prevention. The IPRC is funded, in part, by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, financially supported through the HHS/Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.

For more information, contact Ruth Gassman at 812-855-1237 or For additional assistance, contact Elisabeth Andrews, IU Media Relations, 812-855-2153 and

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530 E. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 201
Bloomington, IN 47408-4003