New trends appearing in Ontario youth drug study - 1310 NEWS
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New trends appearing in Ontario youth drug study

A woman exhales while smoking a joint during the annual 420 marijuana rally on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Ottawa. Ontario adolescents are drinking, smoking and using cannabis and other recreational drugs at the lowest rates since the late 1970s, suggests a biennial survey of Grade 7 to 12 students by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Pot, tobacco and alcohol use is down among young people, but other disturbing trends are emerging in a new Ontario-wide study by Ottawa’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Senior Scientist Dr. Robert Mann led the study, looking at kids between Grades 7 and 12.

The data shows that over the last 20 years, alcohol use is down among the targeted group from 63% to 43%, pot smoking dropped to 18% from 28%, while tobacco smoking also took a 20% dip to just 7%.

Mann credits educational programs, and government initiatives to crack down on smoking.

“I think the data suggests the kind of success we can achieve if we take a long-term perspective, and work toward some common goals.”

Mann would now like to see more programs aimed at things like curbing fentanyl use, which showed up for the first time ever in this study.

Its usage rate is only at 1%, but that still represents about 6,000 students across Ontario, and it can be deadly.

Non-prescription drug use is also up, according to the study, with cough syrup at 9%.

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