NEWS

As the Availability of Drugs Increases, More Young People Become Abusers

By Carlton Purvis

The demand for drugs in America is growing. Particularly among young people, the rate of drug use has increased, according to the United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) annual National Drug Threat Assessment.

The DOJ says the largest group of drug abusers is people 18-25 years old. “The abuse of several major illicit drugs, including heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, appears to be increasing," the report says.

Citing data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the DOJ says that in 2009, the percentage of people 12 or older using illicit drugs was 8.7 percent. Twenty-one percent of respondents 18-25 said they’d abused drugs in the past month.

The report also notes that the overall availability of drugs in the United States has increased over time. “Heroin, marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine are readily available, and their availability appears to be increasing in some markets,” it reads. Cocaine is widely available in the country, but at lower levels, the DOJ says. The report attributes the lower levels of cocaine to higher prices, intercartel fighting, decreased cocaine production in Colombia, and counterdrug activity.

The report also included analysis of transnational criminal organizations and updates on routes, and movement of drugs throughout the United States. The complete report can be found here.


photo permanently scatterbrained/flickr
 

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