The National Institute on Drug Use has unveiled a comprehensive, recently updated report on teen drug use in the U.S. The report reveals trends among American teens. According to the survey, youth in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades reported that their annual use of certain drugs increased, while other drugs had either decreased or remained the same. The data also tracks changes in teen attitudes, beliefs, and early experiences relating to licit and illicit drugs.
In 2017, teen marijuana use increased by a significant 1.3 percentage points: 23.9% of teens surveyed had used marijuana at least once in the prior year. Also revealing is the overall downward trend in the perceived risk of using marijuana. Richard Miech, the Principal Investigator of the study, explains: “Historically marijuana use has gone up as adolescents see less risk of harm in using it…[T]he risk adolescents see in marijuana use…is now at the lowest level we've seen in four decades.”
The report also tracks the inhalation of vapors, or “vaping.” Nicotine vaping products, as well as marijuana vaping products, were reportedly almost as easy to obtain as alcohol and marijuana. In just a few years, electronic vaping devices have become one of the most prevalent forms of substance use among teens. Emerging vaping products such as e-cigarettes, “mods”, Juuls, and e-pens are still so new on the market, the Institute has not been able to track trends on specific products.
Interestingly, the use of other substances is steadily decreasing among teens. In 2017, the use of cigarettes, synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and Ritalin declined. Other drugs—including alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, meth, and sedatives—remained steady in 2017.
Drug Charges in the Washington Juvenile System Can Carry Serious Penalties
In the state of Washington, juveniles are subject to a body of a state law known as the UCSA (Uniform Controlled Substance Act). These statutes govern the use, manufacture, possession, sale, and distribution of controlled substances for both juveniles and adults. Other state laws dictate the sentencing standards and possible consequences for juvenile drug offenses. In many situations, a judge may be persuaded to consider penalties that do not include confinement.
The juvenile justice system in the state of Washington is concerned with the treatment and rehabilitation of youth who are struggling with addiction. For certain offenses, a juvenile judge can consider alternatives where the youth can complete a diversion program, carry out a probation period, and potentially have the case dismissed entirely. An experienced Seattle defense attorney can help you understand your options.
Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi
Juvenile drug crimes can seriously distress a family and jeopardize the future of a young person. A conviction can have life-changing implications that impact employment and educational opportunities. If your child has pending charges relating to controlled substances, you will likely have questions about navigating the juvenile justice system in Washington. Attorney Steve Karimi is a seasoned Seattle legal advisor who can help. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free initial consultation.