Drug Trends


In general, New Jersey students consumed less alcohol in 2013 than in the past decade based on several indicators of alcohol use. For example, the rate of lifetime alcohol use among students has fallen from 83% in 2001 to 68% in 2013. During that same time frame, recent alcohol use declined from 56% to 39% and recent binge drinking dropped from 33% to 23%. Additionally, early initiation of alcohol use among students has been halved over this period, falling from 33% to 15%. CDC analysis performed on the data from 2001-2013 confirms that the overall reductions observed for all four indicators are statistically significant.


Between 2001 and 2013, the number of New Jersey students who smoked cigarettes has dropped significantly as evidenced by the decline in lifetime (63% vs. 34%), recent (29% vs. 13%), early (22% vs. 6%), regular (15% vs. 5%) and heavy cigarette use (9% vs. 3%). Conversely, while there was no change from 2001 to 2013 in the overall trend for heavy smoking among recent smokers (13% vs 13%), heavy cigarette use dropped from 2001 to 2005 (13% to 6%) but then increased from 2011 to 2013 (7% to 13%). Read More >


Since 2001, rates of lifetime and recent marijuana use for New Jersey students have exhibited little change. Over this period, rates of lifetime use have fluctuated between 35% (2009) and 41% (2001), and recent use has remained between 20% (2005, 2009) and 25% (2001); however, between 2001 and 2013, reductions were observed for early initiation of marijuana use (9% vs. 5%) which is confirmed as a significant reduction by CDC statistical analysis. Read More >


While prescription drug use and over-the-counter drug use have only been measured for the last two survey administrations, CDC statistical analysis shows no significant change of use among New Jersey students for these substances. There has also not been a statistically significant change in student use of inhalants during the longer period of 2001 to 2013. Steroid use has been measured since 2001, exhibiting a slight, statistically significant decline from 5% in 2001 to 2% in 2013. Read More >


Use of other illicit drugs among New Jersey students has remained low and relatively stable over the years. In 2013, cocaine (5%), methamphetamine (3%) and heroin (2%) use were down from the rates of 9%, 8% and 4%, respectively in 2001. While the use of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin has changed little since 2005, the decline in their use was deemed statistically significant from 2001 rates. On the other hand, ecstasy’s rise from 5% in 2005 to 7% in 2013 was deemed significant by CDC trend analysis, and hallucinogen use exhibited no overall change in this period.