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Updated 2:00 PM January 13, 2004



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Monitoring the Future
Ecstasy use falls for second year, overall teen drug use diminishes

The proportion of American 10th- and 12th-grade students who reported using the drug ecstasy in the prior 12 months has fallen by more than half since 2001. The usage rate among eighth graders is down considerably over the same two-year interval.

That is just some of the encouraging news to emerge from the 2003 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of nearly 50,000 students in 392 secondary schools across the country.

In 2003, marijuana use exhibited its second year of decline in the upper grades and its seventh year of decline among eighth-graders.

The proportions of students using any illicit drug other than marijuana also declined in 2003 among 10th-grade students (significantly) and 12th-grade students (not significantly). However, use among the eighth graders—which had fallen by a third in earlier years from the recent peak in 1996—showed no further decline this year.

The 2003 survey is the 29th in the annual series of surveys of American 12th graders, and the 13th in the series of eighth and 10th graders, who were added to the study in 1991. The MTF study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse through investigator-initiated research grants, was designed and conducted by scientists at the Institute for Social Research. The authors of the report are Lloyd Johnston (principal investigator), Patrick O'Malley, Jerald Bachman and John Schulenberg—all research professors at ISR.

For more information about the results, visit

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