Marijuana use is a ‘new normal’ for young adults

Marijuana use has reached record levels among young adults and may soon become a mainstream practice, a new study shows.

According to a recent Monitoring the Future study conducted by scientists from the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, the use of marijuana and hallucinogens has steadily increased among young adults between the ages of 19 and 30 compared to a year ago. barely ten years old:

Marijuana use in the past year, past month, and daily (use 20 or more times in the past 30 days) has reached the highest levels on record since these trends were first monitored. times in 1988. Past month marijuana use was reported by 29% of young adults in 2021, up from 21% five years ago (2016) and 17% 10 years ago (2011). Daily marijuana use also increased significantly during these periods, reported by 11% of young adults in 2021, a significant increase from 8% in 2016 and 6% in 2011.
Past-year hallucinogen use was relatively stable over the past decades until 2020, when reports of use began to increase dramatically. In 2021, 8% of young adults reported having used hallucinogens in the past year, an all-time high since the category was first surveyed in 1988. In comparison, in 2016, 5% of young adults have reported having used hallucinogens in the previous year, and in 2011 only 3% reported having used them.

Alcohol remains the popular substance of choice among young adults, while binge drinking and high-intensity drinking have seen an uptick since the pandemic.

Megan Patrick, ISR research professor and principal investigator of the MTF panel study, said the pandemic presented an opportunity to examine how and why certain drugs became popular with a given demographic:

One of the best ways to learn more about drug use and its impact on people is to observe which drugs appear, in which populations, for how long and in which contexts. Monitoring the Future and similar large-scale surveys of a consistent population sample allow us to assess the effects of “natural experiments” like the pandemic. We can examine how and why medicines are used and highlight critical areas to guide future research and inform public health interventions.

The study comes months after a UK study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry showed that people who use cannabis with a THC potency greater than 5 to 10 milligrams per gram have a higher risk of addiction and mental health problems. Study co-author Tom Freeman, director of the addiction and mental health group at the University of Bath in the UK, told CNN in an email at the time that users of high-potency cannabis had a “four-fold increased risk of addiction” compared to low-potency cannabis users.

“A United Nations report found that over the past two decades, the proportion of people seeking treatment for cannabis dependence has increased in all regions of the world except Africa,” said he declared.

Currently, about three in ten people in the United States have been diagnosed with marijuana addiction, according to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Similarly, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction has found a 76% increase in treatment for marijuana addiction over the past decade.


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