American 10th graders have a higher rate of illicit drug use than their European peers, researchers at the University of Michigan have found.
American teens have lower rates of drinking and smoking.
The researchers compared data from the U.S. Monitoring the Future study’s national survey of 10th graders with data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, which includes 35 countries.
On average, only 18 percent of the European students had used an illicit drug in their lifetime, compared to 35 percent of U.S. students the same age, the study found.
Only the Czech Republic ranked higher than the U.S. at 37 percent.
Illicit drugs increasingly are being traded in hidden online marketplaces known as “crypomarkets,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Revenue for illicit drugs in these online markets has doubled since 2013, while transactions have tripled, according to a study released by RAND Europe, a policy research institute.
Crypomarkets are predominantly run by drug sellers in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Monthly revenue is estimated at between $12 million and $21.1 million.
Most of the revenue is being generated by customers purchasing drugs in large quantities, suggesting they intend to resell them. Marijuana sales represent 37 percent of total revenue, followed by cocaine and amphetamines.
These online markets have emerged since the Federal Bureau of Investigation closed the illicit online marketplace Silk Road in 2013.