Substance abuse has trended upward among American teens over the past three years after a decade of declines, according to the results of this year's Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), released on Wednesday.

The report indicates marijuana and ecstasy use among teens shows marked increases while attitudes toward alcohol use have become more relaxed.

The study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation and the 22nd in an annual series, found that between 2008 and 2010 teens who said they had used marijuana in the past year climbed to 39 percent from 32 percent, while teens who said they had used the "party" drug ecstasy in the past year increased to 10 percent from six percent.

The study, which based its findings on a survey of around 2,500 high school students, found that 45 percent said they do not see a "great risk" in drinking five or more drinks a day, while 31 percent strongly disapprove of their peers getting drunk.

A total of 68 percent of those surveyed said they had had at least one drink in their lifetimes. Among them, the average age for that drink was 14.

Source: Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/06/us-drugs-study-idUSTRE7355PT20110406