Definitions

LIFETIME USE

Both the NSDUH and the MTF define a "lifetime user" as a teen who has used an illicit drug/meth at least once in his or her lifetime.

PAST-YEAR (ANNUAL) USE

This is used to describe a teen who has used meth at least once during the past 365 days.

PAST-MONTH OR CURRENT USER

Both the NSDUH and the MTF define a "current user" as a teen who has used an illicit drug/meth at least once within the month prior to responding to the survey. This is also referred to as "past-month" drug use.

NATIONAL AVERAGE

The results from the sample groups are applied to the entire population of the United States and then presented as a national average.

once in the past year, and 57,000 had used meth in the previous month.

* In the general population of 12 and older, more men than women use meth. However, in those aged 12 to 17, more women have either tried meth in their lifetime or used it in the past year. Male and female 12- to 17-year-olds used meth about the same rates over a 30-day period.

* The number of 14- to 15-year-old meth users increased from 2003 to 2004, but decreased for 16 to 17 year olds.

* Less than 1 percent of all 12- to 17-year-olds used meth in 2004. However, that still means 163,000 teens used meth that year.

* As a group, 12- to 17-year-olds used less methamphet-amines in 2004 than in 2003. This is part of a trend of decreased meth use among teens seen over the past few years. However, those between the ages of 18 to 25 show a slight increase in meth use.

* The average age of people using meth for the first time is 20.

Monitoring the Future Survey Results19, 34

Findings from the 2005 MTF survey tell us more specifically about meth trends among 10th and 12th graders.

Lifetime use

* When analyzing data over the past 15 years, lifetime use (use at least once) of any illicit drug has increased for both 10th and 12th graders.

* According to the survey, half (50 percent) of all American students have tried some type of illicit drug by the time they near high school graduation.

* Since 1999, meth has shown a 45 percent decrease in both 10th and 12th grade lifetime use. Despite the publicity about the growing meth problem in the country, as a whole, this age group has shown a fairly steady decline in use, according to both the NSDUH and MTF results.

* Ice was included in the MTF survey beginning in 1990, as it was a new drug introduced at that time. After peaking in 1998, lifetime use of ice (crystal meth) slightly decreased for the next five years among high school seniors, the only age group included in this survey. However, since 2003, ice use has remained level. About the same number of high school seniors report using meth as report using crystal meth at least once in their lifetime, according to the 2005 data.

Continue reading here: Pastyear and pastmonth use

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