Teen Drug Use Among Highest in Nation

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A new report says Oregon has seen one of the largest increases in teenage drug use in the entire country and local officials are seeing a similar increase in Southern Oregon.

Oregon has the fourth highest number of teens who have admitted to using marijuana in the last month. According to the report, from the Oregon high intensity drug trafficking areas, marijuana use by kids age 12 to 18 has significantly increased since 2007. In 2009, more high school seniors smoked marijuana than cigarettes.

In Josephine County, 16% of 8th graders admitted to using marijuana in the past 30 days, which is higher than the state average. Josephine County officials say the increase is partly because of a higher availability of illegal drugs in Southern Oregon.

Local resources say it takes a team effort to try to combat the drug trends for young people, including police helping to slow down the availability, and officials educating teens on the effects of marijuana.