Teen Abstainers

The latest edition of the Monitoring the Future National Survey on drug use among our teenagers, cites good news that I would like to pass on to you today. The survey, which has been conducted annually since 1975, offers some encouraging data on what the survey labels as “abstainers.” Abstainers are defined as students with no use of alcohol, marijuana, or nicotine. Nicotine use is typically by cigarettes or vaping. Researchers report that in 2024, levels of lifetime abstention significantly increased among students in the two high school groups surveyed, that is, our tenth and twelfth graders. These levels of abstention are at the highest since they began getting tracked back in 2017. Researchers say that these increases in abstention have been driven by decreases in nicotine vaping and alcohol use. This is good news, and should encourage us to keep educating our students on the dangers of drug use, while point them to finding meaning and purpose in a relationship with Jesus Christ.