Monitoring the Future

is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of Americans from adolescence through adulthood. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are sent to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation. The Monitoring the Future Study has been funded under a series of investigator-initiated competing research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. MTF is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

For additional information regarding the Monitoring the Future study, please e-mail us.

Recent Publications

Marijuana, hallucinogen use at all-time high  Marijuana and hallucinogen use in the past year reported by young adults 19 to 30 years old increased significantly in 2021 compared to five and 10 years ago, reaching historic highs in this age group since 1988, according to the Monitoring the Future panel study. Rates of past-month nicotine vaping, which have been gradually increasing in young adults for the past four years, also continued their general upward trend in 2021, despite leveling off in 2020. Past-month marijuana vaping, which had significantly decreased in 2020, rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Alcohol remains the most-used substance among adults in the study, though past-year, past-month and daily drinking have been decreasing over the past decade. Binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) rebounded in 2021 from a historic low in 2020, during the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, high-intensity drinking (having 10 or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) has been steadily increasing over the past decade and in 2021 reached its highest level ever recorded since first measured in 2005.

Monitoring the Future Panel Study annual report: National data on substance use among adults ages 19 to 60, 1976-2021 This volume presents new 2021 findings from the U.S. national Monitoring the Future follow-up (panel) study concerning substance use among the nation’s college students and adults from ages 19 through 60. We report 2021 prevalence estimates on numerous illicit and licit substances, examine how substance use differs across this age span, and show how substance use and related behaviors and attitudes have changed over the past four decades. The panel study now has over 108,000 individuals, with approximately 28,500 surveyed each year including young adults ages 19 to 30 and adults ages 35 to 60. These data, gathered on national samples over such a large portion the lifespan, are extremely rare and can provide needed insight into the epidemiology, etiology, and life course history of substance use and relevant behaviors, attitudes, and other factors. The current report is the latest in a series of publications dating back to 1986.

Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2021: Volume I, Secondary school students  Monitoring the Future has conducted in-school surveys of nationally representative samples of (a) 12th grade students each year since 1975 and (b) 8th and 10th grade students each year since 1991. This volume focuses on the results from the in-school surveys of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in 2021. The survey reported here, is the 47th consecutive survey of 12th grade students and the 31st consecutive survey of 8th and 10th graders.