The annual Indiana Youth Survey looks at substance use, mental health and other addiction risk factors. This year’s assessment found a significant increase in use of electronic cigarettes by middle and high schoolers.
The survey has been tracking the use e-cigarettes and vaping since 2015. It’s been rising. Last year it appeared levels were tapering off. But this year, Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior deputy director John Agley says the data is clear.
"We have significant evidence this year that," says Agley, "that is really where the trend is going."
Nearly a third of 12th graders in Indiana reported using vapor products in 2017.
About 120,000 Hoosier youths were surveyed and asked about other substance use including alcohol and prescription drugs. Those rates remain static.
The report also details youth perception of drug use and availability.
The Indiana Prevention Resource Center, at Indiana University, compiles the annual report that surveys Hoosier youth between sixth and 12th grades.
Agley says the data helps direct prevention.
"Because it’s very possible to seek to prevent something that’s not really a problem," says Agley.
This year a new question analyzed youth perception of peers substance use and found it much higher than real numbers.