WASHINGTON (AP) -- Illicit drug use among teen-agers held steady in 2000 for the fourth straight year, and cigarette smoking declined significantly, the government reported Thursday.
The annual Monitoring the Future survey, a benchmark for teen drug, alcohol and tobacco use, had mostly good news, with drops among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. But it also found use of the drug ecstasy, a favorite at dance clubs, increasing for the second year running. And the number of high school seniors using heroin hit its highest point since the survey began in 1975.
The survey of 45,000 students in 435 randomly chosen schools nationwide found that use of cocaine and hallucinogens such as LSD dropped, with marijuana use unchanged from 1999.
After increasing through the mid-1990s, teen drug use leveled off -- and in some cases, dropped -- in 1996. This year, usage was steady no matter how it was measured -- in the last month, year or ever.
Alcohol use remained widespread.
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