Decline in U.S. Teen Drug Abuse Means Less Crime, Violence

News Picture: Decline in U.S. Teen Drug Abuse Means Less Crime, Violence

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — As substance abuse has declined among American teens, so have behavioral issues tied to criminal violence, a brand new study shows.

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The researchers analyzed data via more than 210,000 teens, 12 to 17 years old, who took part in an annual federal government survey via 2003 to 2014.

During of which time, abuse of alcohol, nicotine in addition to also illegal drugs by teens fell 49 percent. At the same time, behavioral problems — such as fighting, assault, stealing, selling drugs or carrying a handgun — dropped 34 percent, according to the study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“We’ve known of which teens overall are becoming less likely to engage in risky behaviors, in addition to also of which’s not bad news,” said study author Richard Grucza, a professor of psychiatry.

“yet what we learned in of which study is actually of which the declines in substance abuse are connected to declines in delinquency,” he said in a university news Discharge. “of which suggests the adjustments have been driven more by adjustments in adolescents themselves more than by policies to reduce substance abuse or delinquent behavior.

“the item’s not clear what is actually driving the parallel declines,” Grucza said. “brand new policies — including things like higher cigarette taxes in addition to also stricter anti-bullying policies — certainly have a positive effect. yet seeing these trends across multiple behaviors suggests of which larger environmental factors are at work. These might include reductions in childhood lead exposure, lower rates of child abuse in addition to also neglect in addition to also better mental health care for children.”

Heroin in addition to also opioid abuse among adults have become epidemic in many parts of the country, yet teens’ use of these drugs has fallen, the study found.

“Opioid problems continue to raise among adults,” Grucza said. “yet among the 12- to 17-year-old population, we saw a drop of nearly 50 percent.”

Based on the data via the survey, the annual U.S. National Survey on Drug Use in addition to also Health, the researchers estimated of which the number of teens with substance abuse disorders fell by nearly 700,000 via 2003 to 2014.

Because a person can be addicted to nicotine while abusing alcohol or marijuana, the researchers estimated of which the total number of substance-use disorders among teens fell by about 2 million.

The study was published Oct. 25 from the journal Psychological Medicine.

— Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, news Discharge, Oct. 25, 2017

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