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Bruner A Fishman M Adolescents and Illicit Drug Use The Journal of the American Medical Association August 19 1998 v280 n7 p597 This article discusses the increase in illicit drug use by adolescents between the ages of 12 - 17 The topics discussed range form the types of drugs which are increasingly being abused methamphetemine heroin cocaine and LSD to the trends in the increased use of the more widely abused drugs marijuana alcohol and tobacco Starting with a comparison between Plano Texas population 180000 median family income 54000 just north of Dallas to Fairfax County Virginia population 900000 median household income 70000 where parents equally wonder How could this happen to our children The evidence reporting that the statistics are rising everywhere no matter the population or the family income The article then moves in to the discussion of how the most used substances are showing alarming increases ion abuse especially by younger adolescents The percentage of 8th graders using marijuana in 1997 had increased three times over the 1991 rate Although marijuana is certainly less toxic than many other drugs there is a popular notion that it is harmless This information is false marijuana has a direct effect on short-term memory and other cognitive functions Trends or the growth in use of harder more illicit drugs has been noticed with the number of heroin abusers rising from 68000 in 1993 to 216000 in 1996 a staggering increase Also jolting is the increase in adolescent use of heroin which has doubled since 1991 Twenty percent of 8th graders report that heroin is readily available to them These numbers are even more startling when you couple them with the increase in the purity of the drug which has gone from less than 5 to between 80 - 90 in the last 25 years Methamphetamine have become the drug of choice for teens wanting a stimulant especially for all night parties raves
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