ROCKVILLE, MD -- The 2005 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey showed good news when it comes to steroid use in teens. The 12th graders studied exhibited a significant decline in use this year of 1.1 percentage points, falling to 1.5 percent annual prevalence. However, there was little further decline this year in the lower grades, which already had dropped four-tenths in their annual prevalence rates.

Steroid use had been declining from recent peak levels since 2000 in the case of 8th graders, since 2002 among 10th graders and now since 2004 among 12th graders. The staggered pattern of declines across the grades suggests that a cohort effect is working its way up the age spectrum. This year’s drop among 12th graders would be consistent with that interpretation, said the investigators.

Since 1975 the MTF survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year and past month. Overall, 49,347 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades from 402 public and private schools participated in this year's survey. The survey is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the University of Michigan.