Fewer US teens smoking, doing drugs and having sex, new CDC study finds

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control, some things have improved for teens, but other problems have cropped up in recent years.

The CDC’s study measured risk factors in high school students and their behavior. It compares numbers from a decade apart — 2007 to 2017.

Some risk factors improved. For example, about 39.5 percent reported ever having sex, which was down from 47.8 percent in 2007, and 9.7 percent had four or more sexual partners, which was also down from 14.9 percent a decade ago. The number of teens using illicit drugs also dropped about 9 percentage points.

But the report also found other growing problems that may put teens at risk.

The number of teens using condoms has dropped by about 8 percentage points, and 1 in 7 teens reported misusing prescription opioids. The study found 19 percent report being bullied at school, 7.4 percent reported being forced to have sex, and 31.5 percent felt sad or hopeless.

The CDC’s report says those factors can increase the risk of HIV and STD’s, as well as violence and poor mental health.

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