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1 in 33 Teens Admit Trying Meth

Survey Shows That Teens First Try Meth at Age 12, on Average
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 18, 2007 -- A new survey shows that one in 33 U.S. teens has tried meth, nearly a quarter say it would be easy to get meth, and some see benefits to meth use.

The survey included about 2,600 students aged 12-17 at 43 public, private, and parochial junior and senior high schools nationwide. The margin of error is on average +/- 2 percentage points.

During class last spring, the students completed the confidential surveys about methamphetamine (meth) use.

The results show that most teens haven't tried meth. But many say they could get meth pretty easily if they tried.

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) say it would be "very" or "somewhat" easy for them to get meth.
  • 1 in 10 said they have ever been offered meth.
  • Students who admit to ever using meth say they first tried meth at age 12, on average.

The survey also shows that about one in six students say they have a friend or family member who has used meth or been treated for meth use.

Most students reported strongly disapproving of using meth even once or twice and indicated that they consider meth use to be risky, even if only used once or twice.

But some students actually saw benefits to meth use.

Almost a quarter (24%) say meth "makes you feel euphoric or very happy." Nearly as many (23%) said meth helps people lose weight, and 22% said meth "helps you deal with boredom."

Few teens said they talked to their parents about meth.

Earlier this year, other researchers reported that crystal meth is more widely used among young adults in the U.S. than previously thought.

Crystal meth is smoked. Meth can be injected, snorted, or taken as a pill, and meth also goes by other names, including crank, speed, chalk, white cross, fire, and glass.

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media conducted the meth survey for the Meth Project, which seeks to curb meth use.

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