Statistical Briefing Book > Offending by Youth Previous Page
Self-report Behaviors
Q: What are the trends in past year use of opioids among high school seniors?
A: Non-prescription use of opioids reported by high school seniors has declined since 2002.

Past year use of opioids by high school seniors, 2002-2020

Year Narcotics other than heroin* Vicodin Oxycontin Heroin
2002 9.4% 9.6% 4.0% 1.0%
2003 9.3% 10.5% 4.5% 0.8%
2004 9.5% 9.3% 5.0% 0.9%
2005 9.0% 9.5% 5.5% 0.8%
2006 9.0% 9.7% 4.3% 0.8%
2007 9.2% 9.6% 5.2% 0.9%
2008 9.1% 9.7% 4.7% 0.7%
2009 9.2% 9.7% 4.9% 0.7%
2010 8.7% 8.0% 5.1% 0.9%
2011 8.7% 8.1% 4.9% 0.8%
2012 7.9% 7.5% 4.3% 0.6%
2013 7.1% 5.3% 3.6% 0.6%
2014 6.1% 4.8% 3.3% 0.6%
2015 5.4% 4.4% 3.7% 0.5%
2016 4.8% 2.9% 3.4% 0.3%
2017 4.2% 2.0% 2.7% 0.4%
2018 3.4% 1.7% 2.3% 0.4%
2019 2.7% 1.1% 1.7% 0.4%
2020 2.1% 1.2% 2.4% 0.3%

Notes: * Such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, and codeine.

  • Past year use of opioids other than heroin has declined over the last 10 years, from 8.7% of high school seniors in 2011 to 2.1% in 2020. Vicodin use has followed a similar pattern, but the decline was more substantial (from 8.1% in 2011 to 1.2% in 2020).
  • Counter to the trend for Vicodin, past year use of Oxycontin reported by high school seniors increased between 2019 and 2020.
  • Past year heroin use has remained relatively stable since 2012, at an average of one-half of 1% of high school seniors reporting annual use during that time period.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03513.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on August 30, 2021.

Data Source: Adapted from Johnston, L. D., Miech, R. A., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2021). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2020: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.