Daily Marijuana Use Raises Concerns

Health officials are concerned that the rates of daily marijuana use by college-age Americans have returned or exceeded previously high levels seen in the early 1980s, especially among a population whose brains are still not completely developed.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) national survey results of drug use among full-time college students and their non-college peers are now available online, highlighting that daily marijuana use is at the highest level since the early 1980s for this age group.

Below are the highlights from the 2016 MTF survey results on drug use among college students compared to their peers not attending college (ages 19-22).

 

 

 

 

 

  • Daily marijuana use is at the highest level since the early 1980s for this age group (7.8%), reaching the highest level seen for non-college youth (12.8%) and among the highest for full-time college students (4.9%).
  • Non-college peers appear to be drinking less alcohol than their college counterparts with respect to binge drinking (28.7% vs. 32.4%) and intoxication (30.4% vs 40.8%). Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks and intoxication is defined as having been drunk in the last month.
  • Past year amphetamine use without medical supervision appears to be higher in college students than their non-college peers. Ritalin use is 2.4% vs. 1.6% and Adderall use is 9.9% vs. 6.2%, respectively.
  • Past year hookah use appears to be lower in college students and their non-college peers (16.9% and 19.8%) and is trending down in college students (27.9% in 2011 vs. 16.9% in 2016).
  • For both cigarettes and e-vaporizers*, past month use for college students and their non-college peers went down.

 

It is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration began regulating e-cigarettes and hookahs in August 2016, which could have affected marketplace availability. *E-vaporizers may include nicotine, other drugs or no drug at all (i.e., flavoring only).



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