" A majority of 12th graders perceive that regular use of many drugs entails a great risk of harm for the user. In 2022, as Table 8-3 shows, 84% of 12th graders perceive a great risk of harm from regular use of heroin, and 77% for cocaine. More than half (60%) of 12th graders attribute great risk to regular use of LSD, and about half (52%) do so for regular use of amphetamines. About half (54%) of all 12th graders think that regular use of sedatives (barbiturates) involves a great risk of harm to the user. The perceived risk of marijuana is relatively much lower, with a little more than one in four 12th graders (28%) ascribing great risk to regular use.

" Almost three out of four 12th graders (72%) judge smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day as entailing a great risk of harm for the user in 2022. This level of perceived risk is not much lower than the same perceived risk level for regular use of cocaine (77%).

" Levels of perceived risk for regular nicotine vaping are substantially less than the levels for regular cigarette use of one or more packs a day. In 2022, 45% of 12th graders perceived a great risk from regular nicotine vaping, compared to 72% for regular cigarette use.

" Marijuana vaping ranks as having a relatively lower risk for regular use among 12th grade students in comparison to nicotine vaping. In 2022, 36% considered it to involve “great risk.”

" Regular use of alcohol is more explicitly defined in several questions providing specificity on the amount and frequency of use. About one in five 12th graders (23%) associate great risk of harm with having one or two drinks nearly every day, about 1 in 3 (35%) think there is great risk involved in having five or more drinks once or twice each weekend, and about 2 in 3 (67%) think the user takes a great risk in having four or five drinks nearly every day. Still, it is noteworthy that about 1 in 3 (33%) do not view having four or five drinks nearly every day as entailing great risk. None of these measures significantly changed from 2021 to 2022."


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.