By Joy Daughtery Dickinson, Executive Editor, AHC Media

Those darn teenagers. What are they up to now? Actually, they’re having less sex, using fewer drugs, and drinking less.

This news comes from a recent national report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, reported by the Associated Press. The study is done every two years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 16,000 students surveyed at 125 private and public schools.

The report says:

  • Teens who have ever had sex is down (from 47% the previous decade to 41%). The group also reports declines in the percent of teens who had sex recently, the number who had sex before age 13, and the number of teens who have had four or more sexual partners.
  • Smoking was at the lowest level since the survey began. Less than 11% of teens said they had smoked a cigarette the previous month. When the survey began, the rate was more than 27%.
  • Drinking an alcoholic drink in the previous 30 days was reported by less than one-third of teens, which is down from 35% in the last survey.
  • This survey included questions about electronic cigarettes for the first time. About 24% of teens reported that they has used electronic cigarettes or vaping products in the previous 30 days.
  • Just under 22% of teens had used marijuana in the last 30 days, which was down a small amount from previous surveys. Also down was the number who said they had ever tried marijuana or had tried it before they were 13 years old. Use of other drugs also decreased.
  • Also on the decline is the percent who said they had taken prescription drugs without a prescription, which was reported to be about 17%. (To see the survey results, click here. For more analysis of the survey results, including reasons for the declines in sexual activity, see the upcoming August issue of Contraceptive Technology Update. Bookmark this page.)