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Ruth Gassman
Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Desiree Goetze
Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Tracy James
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2007

Indiana youth drug use continues to decline, pipe use increases

Broadcast media: To interview IPRC Director Ruth Gassman on-camera in Indiana University Bloomington's Enberg Studio Tuesday morning, please contact Tracy James, 812-855-0084 and

Aug. 28, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Drug use among Indiana adolescents continues to decline, according to results from the 17th 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.

Pipe and cigar use, however, have increased, and the study points to increases in binge drinking, too. The survey, which analyzed data involving 158,632 students in grades six through 12 in both public and private Indiana schools, also found a slight increase in marijuana use among seventh graders.

"Students are finding alternative ways to use tobacco, such as hookahs and water pipes. Prevention advocates need to broaden their prevention efforts to include these latest tobacco smoking devices," said IPRC Director Ruth Gassman. "For most drugs, however, adolescent use in Indiana has been on a slow decline over the last eight or nine years. Many communities have made decreasing adolescent drug use a priority, and this data shows that their efforts are making a difference."

The full report is available at The following are major points from the survey results:

Teen Tobacco Use

Cigar and pipe use increase
While cigarette and smokeless tobacco use in all grades showed a decline or held steady, cigar and pipe use increased for grades seven through 12 compared to last year. These increases may be a result of adding hookah and water pipe to the survey. Certain changes to the survey were made in order to increase the survey usefulness, update content or align them with prevailing data collection standards.

Binge drinking increased for the second year in a row
Lifetime, annual and past 30-day reported use of alcohol continued to decline for all grades. Binge drinking, however, increased for the second year, with increases ranging from 1.3 percent for seventh- nineth- and 12-graders to 2.2 percent for eighth-graders. This year, the questions regarding binge drinking were moved to a more prominent location on the survey, and this could have contributed to this change. Thus, what appears to be an increase between this year and last year may instead reflect the survey's underestimation of binge drinking in the past.

Most grades report a decrease in marijuana use
Annual use of marijuana decreased or did not change for all grades except for seventh grade, which had a slight increase in lifetime and annual use rates.

"Increasing programs and prevention efforts for young adolescents, such as the Afternoons R.O.C.K. after school program, could help deter some of the increased use we see for the seventh grade age group," Gassman said.

Methamphetamine use continues to decline
Reported prevalence of methamphetamine use declined or held steady for all grade levels for the third year in a row.

Use of "Adderall" and "Ritalin"
In 2007, for the first time the word "Adderall" was added to the survey. In previous years, only the word "Ritalin" was included. It is possible that this change contributed to the higher reported use of "Ritalin or Adderall" this year.

Injection drug use remains the same
Injection drug use remained the same, with last year's numbers having been the highest use ever reported.

School activities and performance
The more frequently students participate in after-school activities, the lower is the prevalence of reported gateway drug use. These findings support the value of programs such as Afternoons R.O.C.K. in Indiana.

"Research has demonstrated that adult-supervised afterschool activities protect adolescents from using alcohol and other drugs," Gassman said.

Gambling behaviors
As gambling activity and access to gambling increase throughout the state, it is important to monitor youth and adolescent gambling behaviors in order to plan prevention efforts. Compared to last year, gambling behavior declined significantly in grades eight through 12. Twelfth-graders and males are more likely to report that they gambled.

Access to alcohol
The findings indicate that youth in grades six through nine reported receiving alcohol from family members. The older the adolescent, the more likely they were to report receiving alcohol from a friend over 21 or by asking someone to buy it for them. Older respondents also reported receiving alcohol from commercial outlets.

These findings suggest that parents, family members and friends over 21 could help in reducing youth alcohol use by better understanding the risk of harm to youth who drink. Also, retail outlets and persons over 21 need to understand the laws and penalties for providing alcohol to a minor.

Reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages
Across grade levels, the more reasons adolescents gave for drinking, the more often they reported consuming alcoholic beverages in the previous year. Infrequent drinkers tended to report they drank for social, recreational or coping reasons (e.g. anger, to relax); whereas the more frequent drinkers do so to manage the physiological effects of alcohol or other drugs.

Consequences of alcohol, tobacco or other drug use
The most commonly reported consequence of alcohol and other drug use across grade levels were having a hangover, nausea, vomiting and riding in a car driven by someone who was "high" or had been using alcohol or drugs. At least 80 percent of adolescents who reported drinking six to 19 times and 20 or more times in the past year reported two or more consequences due to substance use, whereas half as many (roughly 40 percent) of those drinking one to five times in the past year reported two or more consequences.

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