Among High School Seniors Illicit Drug Use Is Lower for Blacks Than for Whites

mtf-vol2_2015-copyA new report from the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan finds that illicit drug use is more prevalent among White students who are about to enter college than it is among African American students who are about to enter their college years.

The data show that for high school seniors, Blacks are significantly less likely than Whites to use drugs. This is true for nearly all drugs that students were asked about in the survey. (At lower ages, the racial gap in drug use is smaller and for some drugs including marijuana, Blacks are more frequent users than Whites.)

Among high school seniors, 15 percent of Whites reported that they had smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days. This is more than double the rate for Blacks. More than one in five White high school students reported that they had engaged in at least one incidence of heavy drinking within the past 3o days. This is twice the rate of Black high school seniors.

The report also offers a great deal of information on drug use by college students. However, there are no breakdowns by racial or ethnic groups.

The full report, Monitoring the Future: National Survey Results of Drug Use, Volume 2, College Students and Adults Ages 19 to 55, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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