Lesson: Stimulant Addiction
First published 2009. To view the latest Heads Up content, click here.
Despite the positive news of a decline in teen drug use, the use of stimulants,
such as cocaine, is still at levels that raise concern. Results from the 2007
“Monitoring the Future” survey showed that 2.0 percent of 8th-graders, 3.4
percent of 10th-graders, and 5.2 percent of 12th-graders had abused cocaine
within the last year. Further cause for concern is the perceived availability
of stimulants among teens. According to the same survey, 19.0 percent of
8th-graders, 30.0 percent of 10th-graders, and 41.2 percent of 12th-graders
responded that cocaine powder was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get.
In this year’s third installment of Heads Up, we hear the personal account of
a teen drug user and provide the latest facts from NIDA scientists to highlight
the hard truth about the effects of stimulants, especially cocaine, on the brain
and the body. We hope you will share the article with your students so they will
be well informed about the health risks and harmful effects of these powerfully
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)