The European version of the Monitoring the Future survey has been published and it reveals dramatic differences between teens in the United States and their counterparts in 36 European countries. American teens were less likely to drink and smoke tobacco, but much more likely to use illegal drugs, according to a comparison of the surveys.
The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) reports the drinking, smoking and drug use of 100,000 15 and 16-year-old students throughout Europe.
Because the ESPAD is largely modeled after the methods and measures of the annual Monitoring the Future survey in the U.S., the results can be used to compare substance abuse among American and European teens, the researchers say.
U.S. Rates Lower for Alcohol, Tobacco
The average rate of teens who drank alcohol in the past 30 days was 57% in the 36 European countries, while 27% of U.S. students reported alcohol use in the past month. Only Iceland, at 17% had a lower drinking rate among teens.
While 28% of European teens reported smoking cigarettes in the past month, only 12% of U.S. teens smoked, again second lowest to Iceland with 10% of teen smokers.
But the use of illegal drugs is dramatically different.
In the U.S., students reported some of the highest rates of marijuana use at 18%, with only France (24%) and Monaco (21%) ranking higher.
American teens reported the highest level of marijuana availability compared to all of the European countries and the lowest number of students who considered smoking marijuana a "great risk."
U.S. First in All Illegal Drug Use
In other drug-related results, the survey comparisons found:
- U.S. teens rank first in all other illicit drug use (16%).
- U.S. teens rank first in lifetime LSD use (6%).
- U.S. teens rank first in ecstasy use (7%).
- U.S. teens rank first in amphetamine use (9%).
In Europe, only 6% of teens reported lifetime illicit drug use, 2% LSD use, 3% ecstasy use and 3% amphetamine use.
Source: University of Michigan. "American teens are less likely than European teens to use cigarettes and alcohol, but more likely to use illicit drugs." June 2012.
Survey Compares U.S., European Teen Substance Abuse originally appeared on About.com Alcoholism on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 00:01:39.
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