US teens drinking less, doing fewer drugs, study says

LOS ANGELES, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The use of alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications and illicit substances declined among U.S. teens again in 2016, continuing a long-term trend, according to a study released on Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.

But the research found that high school seniors were still using cannabis at nearly the same levels as in 2015, with 22.5 percent saying that had smoked or ingested the drug at least once within the past month and 6 percent reporting daily use.

"Clearly our public health prevention efforts, as well as policy changes to reduce availability, are working to reduce teen drug use, especially among eighth graders," Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement accompanying the study results.

RELATED: Drugs in Argentina

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Drugs in Argentina
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Drugs in Argentina
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrol near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
A member of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrols the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
People walk past members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, check a car near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
An officer from the Argentine Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrols Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015, International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, check a car near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of Argentinaâs Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighborhoods, stand guard next to a person near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina September 10, 2015. International drug-enforcement officials have taken to calling Rosario "The Tijuana of Argentina" for what it has in common with the Mexican border city used to move cocaine into the United States. Experts say the drug enters Argentina by truck or plane from Andean cocaine-producing countries to the north. The smuggling routes narrow the closer shipments get to Rosario, increasing violent competition among gangs to control the final steps toward the Parana River, which leads south to Buenos Aires and the shipping lanes of the Atlantic. Drug-related killings spiked so high in Rosario last year that federal forces were called in to provide security. To match story ARGENTINA-DRUGS/ Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, restrain a person near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, frisk a person near the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Members of the Gendarmerie, which took control of security in parts of Rosario city last year after a spike in violence in drug-infested neighbourhoods, patrol the Villa Banana slum in Rosario, Argentina, September 10, 2015. The local morgue reports a fall in homicides since April 2014, when the government sent its Gendarmerie to Rosario to provide law and order in poorer areas of the city. Picture taken September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
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"However, when 6 percent of high school seniors are using marijuana daily, and new synthetics are continually flooding the illegal marketplace, we cannot be complacent," Volkow said.

The annual survey, part of a series called Monitoring the Future which has tracked drug, alcohol and tobacco use among teens since 1975, also found that during 2016 there was a higher use of pot among 12th graders in states with medical marijuana laws.

According to the study, marijuana and e-cigarettes are more popular among teens than regular tobacco, with a large drop in the use of tobacco cigarettes among 8th, 10th and 12th graders.

In 2016, 1.8 percent of high school seniors smoked half a pack or more of tobacco cigarettes per day, compared with 10.7 percent in 1991.

RELATED: Drug overdose deaths per state in 2015

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Drug overdose deaths per state, 2015
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Drug overdose deaths per state, 2015

North Dakota

Deaths per 100,000: 2.7

(Photo by Ben Harding via Getty Images)

South Dakota

Deaths per 100,000: 6.4

(Photo via Getty Images)

Nebraska

Deaths per 100,000: 7.3

(Photo via Getty Images)

Iowa

Deaths per 100,000: 8.7

(Photo via Getty Images)

Minnesota

Deaths per 100,000: 9.4

(Photo by Andrey Krav via Getty Images)

Virginia

Deaths per 100,000: 9.5

(Photo via Getty Images)

Texas

Deaths per 100,000: 9.8

(Photo via Getty Images)

New York

Deaths per 100,000: 10.6

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Mississippi

Deaths per 100,000: 10.7

(Photo via Getty Images)

Georgia

Deaths per 100,000: 10.8

(Photo via Alamy)

Kansas

Deaths per 100,000: 11.1

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California

Deaths per 100,000: 11.3

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Hawaii

Deaths per 100,000: 11.8

(Photo by Richard Akuaten via Getty Images)

Maine

Deaths per 100,000: 11.9

(Photo by James Metcalf via Getty Images)

Illinois

Deaths per 100,000: 11.9

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Alabama

Deaths per 100,000: 12

(Photo by Rob Hainer via Getty Images)

Arkansas

Deaths per 100,000: 12.1

(Photo by Joe Sohm via Getty Images)

Oregon

Deaths per 100,000: 12.5

(Photo by Bob Pool via Getty Images)

Idaho

Deaths per 100,000: 12.8

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Vermont

Deaths per 100,000: 12.9

(Photo by Denis Tangney Jr. via Getty Images)

South Carolina

Deaths per 100,000: 13

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North Carolina

Deaths per 100,000: 13

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Wisconsin

Deaths per 100,000: 13.1

(Photo by Henryk Sadura via Getty Images)

New Jersey

Deaths per 100,000: 13.1

(Photo by Denis Tangney Jr. via Getty Images)

Connecticut

Deaths per 100,000: 13.1

(Photo by Sean Pavone via Getty Images)

Maryland

Deaths per 100,000: 13.4

(Photo by Sean Pavone via Getty Images)

Montana

Deaths per 100,000: 13.4

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United States average

Deaths per 100,000: 13.5

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Massachusetts

Deaths per 100,000: 13.7

(Photo via Corbis)

Florida

Deaths per 100,000: 13.9

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Washington

Deaths per 100,000: 14.1

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Louisiana

Deaths per 100,000: 14.4

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Michigan

Deaths per 100,000: 14.5

(Photo via Getty Images)

New Hampshire

Deaths per 100,000: 14.5

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Washington, D.C.

Deaths per 100,000: 14.9

(Photo by Mark Segal via Getty Images)

Alaska

Deaths per 100,000: 15.3

(Photo by Sam Diephuis via Getty Images)

Colorado

Deaths per 100,000: 15.8

(Photo by David Parsons via Getty Images)

Indiana

Deaths per 100,000: 15.8

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Wyoming

Deaths per 100,000: 16.4

(Photo by Getty Images)

Missouri

Deaths per 100,000: 16.4

(Photo by Henryk Sadura via Getty Images)

Delaware

Deaths per 100,000: 17.2

(Photo by Ron Chapple via Getty Images)

Tennessee

Deaths per 100,000: 17.6

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Arizona

Deaths per 100,000: 18.1

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Pennsylvania

Deaths per 100,000: 18.7

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Ohio

Deaths per 100,000: 18.9

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Rhode Island

Deaths per 100,000: 19.6

(Photo via Kenneth C. Zirkel via Getty Images)

Oklahoma

Deaths per 100,000: 20.3

(Photo via Getty Images)

Utah

Deaths per 100,000: 21.9

(Photo via Getty Images)

Nevada

Deaths per 100,000: 22.4

(Photo by Andrew Zarivny via Shutterstock)

Kentucky

Deaths per 100,000: 24

(Photo via Getty Images)

New Mexico

Deaths per 100,000: 24.4

(Photo via Getty Images)

West Virginia

Deaths per 100,000: 32.4

(Photo by Stan Rohrer via Getty Images)

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The use of alcohol has seen similar declines, according to the research, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting this year that they had been drunk at least once, down from a peak of 53.2 percent in 2001.

The analysis found that the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana by teens was at its lowest levels since tracking began.

The study, which is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, surveyed 45,473 students from 372 public and private schools.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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