Let’s Talk: What does the Data tell us about Teen Substance Use?

March 01, 2019

The good news is that the majority of teens are making healthy decisions around substance use. According to the 2018 Monitoring the Future Study, here are the current trends:

  • Vaping increases dramatically over the past year (although the majority still don’t vape – 37.3% of 12th graders reported “any vaping” in the past 12 months)

  • Alcohol use on the decline – down significantly from five years ago

  • Opioid use at a historic low

  • Overall marijuana use stable


Teens may get information about drug trends quickly and easily, but sometimes not accurately. The data shows that teens often overestimate peer substance use. The more adults know, the more informed their conversations with adolescents can be. Share the social norms approach with your kids, using validated data sources such as Substance Use in Minnesota, the Minnesota Student Survey, and the Monitoring the Future Study.