According to the government’s 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 22 million Americans 12-years-old and up use illegal drugs. That's almost 9% of our population!
Marijuana was the most popular drug of choice last year with 17 million users, which has increased by 3 million people since 2007.
Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. director of national drug control policy, believes this may be due to the growth of medical marijuana, explaining:
"Emerging research reveals potential links between state laws permitting access to smoked medical marijuana and higher rates of marijuana use. I urge every family - but particularly those in states targeted by pro-drug political campaigns - to redouble their efforts to shield young people from serious harm by educating them about the real health and safety consequences caused by illegal drug use.”
Fortunately, evidence shows marijuana is the only drug that had a significant increase.
Cocaine use has dropped nearly 1 million from 2006 to only 1.5 million, while methamphetamine use dropped by more than half to only a 10th of 1% of the population.
What we found to be the most disturbing news is how EASY it is for kids to get drugs.
Half of the kids between 12 and 17-years-old surveyed said it would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get their hands on pot, while 1 in 5 said it would be easy to get cocaine, and 1 in 10 said it would be easy to get heroin!
If there is anything to take away from the survey it may be the importance of educating your kids about drugs at a younger age. Don't wait until they're in high school to start talking about drugs because your kid's friends probably won't wait until high school to start getting curious.