Youth Activities, Substance Use, and Family Income

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U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Youth participation in a school, community or faith-based activity of any kind leads to lower rates in drug use, smoking and alcohol consumption, according to this new report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

While 92 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 participated in at least one of the activities during 2005, those who did not do so reported using substances in the past month at a much higher rate. Those involved with seven or more activities in the past year reported using the substances at a rate at least 10 percent lower in each substance category than those with no activities. Family income also played a role in the differences in substance use. Free online.