Infectious Disease

Marijuana use among college-age adults at its highest levels since the 1980s

09/09/2021

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Source:

Schulenberg JE et al. Monitoring the Future: National Drug Use Survey Results 1975-2020. Ann Arbor: Department of Social Research, University of Michigan. 2021.

Disclosure:
The authors do not report any relevant financial information.

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College students and their peers are consuming marijuana in amounts not seen since the 1980s, according to an NIH-funded study.

The study “Monitoring the Future”, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and conducted by researchers from the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, has been tracking substance use by young adults aged 19-22 since 1980.

The results of the report released this week show that marijuana use in 2020 reached its highest level in over 3 decades, 38% who said they used it in 2015. A total of 43% of their non-college peers also reported using marijuana in the past year, a figure that has remained the same since 2018.

Approximately 8% of college student respondents also reported using marijuana on a daily basis, compared to 5% in 2015. A total of 13% of non-college respondents said they used marijuana almost daily, which the study found ” was consistent ”. with the last few years.

The American Heart Association previously cited evidence that cannabis use could damage the heart and blood vessels. Another study presented at the 2017 American College of Cardiology scientific session linked marijuana use to a higher risk of stroke and heart failure.

Nora Volkow

NIDA director Nora Volkow, MD, said the pandemic was suspected to have affected drug use among young people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way young people interact with one another and offers us the opportunity to investigate whether these changes have changed drug use behavior,” said Volkow in a press release. “For the future, it will be crucial to investigate how and when different substances are consumed in this young population and what effects these changes have over time.”

The report also found that the increase in vaping among college-aged adults flattened between 2017 and 2019, and that rates of alcohol use (56% vs 62%) and binge drinking (24% vs 32%) were significantly lower in the Year 2020 compared to 2019. A 5-year increase in the hallucinogenic consumption rate was noted, from 5% of respondents in 2015 to 9% last year. Smoking of cigarettes, non-medical use of amphetamines and abuse of prescription opioids also decreased.

References:

Press release.

Schulenberg JE et al. Monitoring the Future: National Drug Use Survey Results 1975-2020. Ann Arbor: Department of Social Research, University of Michigan. 2021.

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