" Substantial differences were found in perceived availability of the various drugs (Tables 9-10 to 9-12). In 2022 the percentage of 12th graders reporting it would be fairly easy or easy to get a drug varied from 12% or less for heroin, crack, and crystal methamphetamines to 69% and above for alcohol, vaping devices, and marijuana.
" In general, the more widely used drugs are reported to be available by higher proportions of the age group, as would be expected. The substances with the highest levels of use in 2022, specifically marijuana, alcohol, and vaping devices, also place in the top three in terms of perceived availability.
" Older adolescents generally perceive drugs to be more available. For example, in 2022, 26% of 8th graders said marijuana would be fairly easy or very easy to get (which we refer to as “readily available”), versus 49% of 10th graders and 70% of 12th graders.
" Higher availability among both the more widely used drugs and also older age groups is consistent with the notion that availability is largely attained through friendship circles. (Friends clearly are the leading source through which 12th graders obtain prescription drugs, as discussed above.) The differences among age groups may also reflect less willingness and/or motivation on the part of those who deal drugs to establish contact with younger adolescents.
" Marijuana appears to be readily available to the great majority of 12th graders; in 2022, 70% reported that they think it would be very easy or fairly easy to get—far higher than the proportion who reported ever having used it (38%).
" There is a considerable drop in availability after marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and vaping; the next most readily available class of drugs for 12th graders is amphetamines, with 33% saying these drugs would be very or fairly easy to get, followed by hallucinogens other than LSD (31%).
" Substances with the lowest availability among 12th grade students in 2022 are crystal methamphetamine (8%), crack (11%), heroin (12%), cocaine powder (12%), and steroids (16%).
" In each grade similar percentages of students reported they could fairly or very easily get a vaping device, e-liquids with nicotine, or flavored vaping solutions. In 8th grade the percentage were, respectively, 35%, 33%, and 31%. In 10th grade they were 52%, 51%, and 49%. In 12th grade they were 69%, 67%, and 66%.
" In 2022, 34% of 8th graders, 48% of 10th graders, and 54% of 12th graders thought that cigarettes would be fairly easy or very easy for them to get if they wanted some.
" Alcohol has the highest level of availability in each grade. The percentage saying it would be fairly easy or very easy to get in 8th grade was 42%, in 10th grade was 59%, and in 12th grade was 78%.
" Drug availability levels are lowest in 8th grade. Even so, in 2022 marijuana was reported as readily available by about one in four (26%) 8th grade students.
" Because many inhalants—such as glues, butane, and aerosols—are universally available, we do not ask about their availability. See Table 9-12 for the full list of drugs included in the questions for 12th graders; a few of these drugs were not asked of the younger students (see Tables 9-10 and 9-11)."
Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., Patrick, M.E., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E., (2023). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2022: Secondary school students. Monitoring the Future Monograph Series. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.