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Gregg Aguero of Houston, Texas, says he started drinking regularly at 13 after his parents split up. That led to cocaine and other drugs and eventually landed him in rehab for several stays.

Now 22 and in college, Aguero says he’s been sober for 4 months and is trying to help teenagers avoid the mistakes he made.

“It’s never too late,” he tells them. “That’s the most important thing. It’s never too late to turn and get help.”

Other findings in the study:

_Twenty-five percent of teens said last year that they had smoked marijuana in the past month. While that number is unchanged from the previous year, it is higher than 2008 and confirms an upward trend that ended nearly a decade of declines in pot usage among teens.

_Ecstasy abuse also continued an upward trend, with six percent of teens reporting past-month use _ up from four percent in 2008.

The Partnership’s “attitude tracking” study was sponsored by the MetLife Foundation. Researchers surveyed 2,544 teens with anonymous questionnaires that the youngsters filled out from March to June of last year. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Based in New York, The Partnership at Drugfree.org is formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America _ perhaps best known for the “this is your brain on drugs” ads of the 1980s and 1990s. The group launched its new name last October, a move meant to position the partnership as more of a resource to parents and to avoid the misperception the nonprofit is a government organization.