A startling new government survey says drug use among Hispanic boys grew a whopping 39 percent over the past year.
Hispanic boys and black females – ages 12 to 17 – were the groups with the largest jump in illicit drug use, according to a survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency on Tuesday. The study did not examine the reason for the increase.
The yearly study, called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, showed an overall increase among teens last year, with one in 10 youths ages 12 to 17 reporting they had used drugs during the last month.
The report, which surveyed 67,500 people of all ages, found marijuana and prescription pills to be the leading drugs abused by young adults.
Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the government is pouring millions of dollars in prevention efforts and treatment programs, and has kicked off an anti-drug campaign directed at teens called Above The Influence.
“These data confirm that in addition to overall increases in youth drug use nationwide, certain minority populations are suffering from illegal drug use at even higher rates,” Kerlikowske said in a statement. He also urged all parental figures to “do their part by taking action today to protect these at-risk youth groups from a lifetime of drug-related consequences.”