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Government report: Teens using more marijuana
August 21, 1998
Web posted at: 5:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Marijuana use as of 1997 is up nine percent among young
people aged 12 to 17, according to the government's annual National Household
Survey on Drug Abuse. A year ago the survey showed a smaller, seven-point-one
increase for the same age group in 1996.
National Drug Policy Director Barry McCaffrey says a key factor could be a
declining perception of risk from marijuana use among young people.
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala said overall illicit
drug use among all age groups remained statistically flat from 1996 to 1997.
However the estimated 13-point-9 million people considered current users of
illegal substances, is up 900-thousand from a year earlier.
McCaffrey says early response is positive to a new media campaign started
last month, stressing the need for parents and young people to become more
aware of the health risk from drug abuse.
He said an internet-based aspect of the campaign has drawn a
hundred-thousand hits a week, with average visitation time around 19 minutes.