WASHINGTON — Cocaine and methamphetamine use among young adults declined significantly last year as supplies dried up, leading to higher prices and reduced purity, the government reported Wednesday. Overall use of illicit drugs showed little change.
About one in five young adults last year acknowledged illicit drug use within the previous month, a rate similar to previous years. But cocaine use declined by one-quarter and methamphetamine use by one-third.
Drug use increased among the 50-59 age group as more baby boomers joined that category. Their past-month drug use rose from 4.3 percent in 2006 to 5 percent in 2007.
Overall, about 20 million people 12 or older reported using illicit drugs within the past month. Marijuana was the most popular by far, with 14.4 million acknowledging use of marijuana in the past month.
Among adolescents, age 12 to 17, drug use dipped from 9.8 percent in 2006 to 9.5 percent last year, continuing a five-year trend.
More than half the people who tried drugs for the first time in 2007 used marijuana, according to the U.S. survey.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:U.S. close to meeting Iraq refugee goals
The United States admitted fewer Iraqi refugees in August than in the previous record-setting month, but remains on pace to meet the Bush administration’s goal of 12,000 by the end of September. The State Department said Wednesday that 2,183 Iraqi refugees entered the country last month, down from 2,352 in July. August’s figure brings the number of Iraqi refugees accepted in the U.S. to 10,998 since the current budget year began on Oct. 1, so the administration will only have to accept 1,002 more refugees in September to reach 12,000.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:$1 billion in aid to Georgia from U.S.
Pushing back against an increasingly aggressive Moscow, President Bush said Wednesday the U.S. will send an extra $1 billion to Georgia to help the pro-Western former Soviet republic in the wake of Russia’s invasion in August, which lasted less than a week. Vice President Dick Cheney is due to visit Georgia today.
New York: Arrest in school threat
A Selden student accused of posting a threat against her school on her social-networking Web page was just trying to prolong her summer break, her lawyer said Wednesday. The student, Tiffany Spatafora, 16, was arrested and released Wednesday without bail after pleading not guilty to misdemeanor charges of aggravated harassment and falsely reporting an incident. Police say the Newfield High School student’s Facebook page said she was “going to kill everyone in school, so don’t go,” but investigators found no evidence she had the means to carry out the threat.
Ohio: Mother spared death penaltyi n baby’s death
A Dayton jury has spared the life of a woman who killed her infant daughter in 2005 by microwaving her. The jury told the judge Wednesday that it couldn’t agree on whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison for 28-year-old China Arnold. Arnold now could spend between 25 years and the rest of her life in prison, depending on what Montgomery County Judge Mary Wiseman decides.
Massacusetts: ‘Rockefeller’ charged
A man calling himself Clark Rockefeller, who is accused of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter (who was found unharmed) and is being investigated in a California couple’s disappearance, was charged Wednesday in Boston with giving a false name to police. Investigators say Rockefeller is really German citizen Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 47, who came to the United States as a high school student in 1978 and has been living under aliases ever since.
Pakistan: U.S. enters for a raid
American forces conducted a raid inside Pakistan against a suspected Taliban haven Wednesday, a senior U.S. military official said. Pakistan’s government condemned the action, saying it killed at least 15 people. The American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the raid occurred about a mile inside Pakistan. The Washington-based official didn’t provide details on casualties.
N. Ireland: IRA said to be no threat
The Irish Republican Army is fading away in Northern Ireland and poses no security threat to the British territory, international experts with the Independent Monitoring Commission concluded Wednesday. The 16-month-old coalition in Belfast has been threatening to unravel amid myriad disputes fueled, in part, by Protestant demands for the IRA to disappear following more than a decade of cease-fire.
Canada: Huge ice sheet breaks off
A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada’s northern Arctic, scientists said Wednesday. The 4,500-year-old Markham Ice Shelf separated in early August and the 19-square-mile shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean, they said.
From Herald news services