Risky Behaviors Common Among U.S. Teens

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Risky behaviors remain common among U.S. teens, a new government survey shows.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that many teens don't use condoms when they have sex, about one-third vape or use alcohol, and many text while driving and don't wear a seat belt, CNN reported.

"Only approximately half of sexually active students reported any condom use at last sexual intercourse, which is concerning given the high risk for STDs among this population," the CDC team said.

The survey also found that 32.7% of teens said they vaped in 2019, compared with 13.2% in 2017. In the new survey, 6% of teens said they smoked tobacco cigarettes; nearly 6% said they smoked cigars, and about 4% said they used smokeless tobacco, CNN reported.

Nearly 30% of teens said they drank alcohol, and nearly 4% admitted to binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks at one time for a man or four or more drinks at one time for a woman.

More than 1 in 5 teens said they used marijuana, just over 7% said they abused prescription opioids, and 1 in 7 said they'd misused a prescription opioid at least once in their lifetime, CNN reported.

The survey also found that 43% of high school students said they didn't always wear a seat belt when they were in the car when someone else was driving, nearly 17% had been in a car with a driver who'd been drinking in the 30 days prior to the survey, and 5.4% of the 60% who drove in that past month said they had a drink before they got behind the wheel.

Nearly 40% of the teens said they'd emailed or texted while driving in the 30 days before the survey, CNN reported.

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