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SA-18.3 Data Details

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SA-18.3 Reduce steroid use among 12th graders

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
Monitoring the Future Study
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
Baseline (Year): 
1.49 (2009)
Not applicable
Target-Setting Method: 
This measure is being tracked for informational purposes. If warranted, a target will be set during the decade.
Target-Setting Method Justification: 
Data from 2009 show that 2.2 percent of 12th graders reported use of steroids in the past year. Because of this extremely low percentage, no target seems reasonable. As the rate approaches zero, the decreases observed would become smaller with each percent reduction. Within a short period of time, the rate would reach a value so near zero that further reductions would be too small to be significant.

Number of 12th grade students who report using steroids in the past year


Number of 12th grade students

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Retained from HP2010 objective
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data: 

    From the Monitoring the Future Study:


    Steroids, or anabolic steroids, are sometimes prescribed by doctors to promote healing from certain types of injuries. Some athletes, and others, have used them to try to increase muscle development. On how many occasions (if any) have you taken steroids on your own--that is, without a doctor telling you to take them?

    • ... in your lifetime?
    • ... during the last 12 months?
    • ... during the last 30 days?

    [Mark one circle for each line. Response categories include:]

    1. 0 occasions
    2. 1-2 occasions
    3. 3-5 occasions
    4. 6-9 occasions
    5. 10-19 occasions
    6. 20-39 occasions
    7. 40 or more
Data Collection Frequency: 
Methodology Notes: 

    Students are considered to have used steroids if they respond that they used steroids on one or more occasions during the last 12 months or during the last 30 days. Data are based on students in attendance on the day of the survey administration. A description of the Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) has been published by NIDA.

Revision History

Any change to the objective text, baseline, target, target-setting method or data source since the Healthy People 2020 launch.

Description of Changes Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
In 2014, the original baseline was revised from 2.2 to 1.49 percent due to the discovery of a programming error. If warranted, a target will be set during the decade.


Additional resources about the objective

  1. Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2009. NIH Publication No. 10-7583. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2010.