Teen Drug Use Is Not Inevitable

Teens and the adults that care about them need to know that the One Choice of no use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs is a realistic goal and that many teens are already making that choice.

A recent study led by the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future study showing that for three decades a growing percentage of 8th, 10th and 12th graders have made One Choice.

This graph shows long-term trends in the prevalence of 12th graders making One Choice:

  • 26% have not used any alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes or other drugs in their lifetime

  • 52% have not used any substances in the past month

Lead authors Drs. Sharon Levy and Robert DuPont narrate a video abstract highlighting key findings of the study published by the journal Pediatrics.

This positive trend in youth making One Choice can be promoted and widely supported by parents, educators, prevention leaders and teens themselves.

The Goal of Youth Drug Prevention is One Choice

No use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs for health.

Who Can Make One Choice?

  • Anyone - everyone - and it is not time-limited
  • Teens who have never used any substance
  • Teens who may have used in the past but are making One Choice today
  • Individuals with substance use problems actively making One Choice including those in early and long-term recovery



Levy, S., Campbell, M. C., Shea, C. L., & DuPont, R. L. (2018). Trends in abstaining from substance use in adolescents: 1975-2014. Pediatrics, 142(2), e20173498.


IBH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that identifies new ideas to reduce illegal drug use. One Choice Prevention is a website of IBH.

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