According to a new study, use of the drug marijuana has reached record highs for young adults in the United States, to the point that it may become a common practice for a majority of this demographic.
Breitbart reports that the study, conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, on behalf of the organization Monitoring the Future, shows a significant increase in the use of marijuana and other hallucinogens among adults between the ages of 19 and 30, compared to the same rates just 10 years earlier.
The study says that “past-year, past-month and daily marijuana use (use on 20 or more occasions in the past 30 days) reached the highest levels ever recorded since these trends were first monitored in 1988.” It goes on to say that “Marijuana use in the past month was reported by 29% of young adults in 2021, compared to 21% five years ago (2016) and 17% 10 years ago (2011).”
“Past-year hallucinogen use had been relatively stable over the past few decades until 2020, when reports of use started to increase dramatically,” the report continues. “In 2021, 8% of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, representing an all-time high since the category was first surveyed in 1988. By comparison, in 2016, 5% of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, and in 2011, only 3% reported use.”
Megan Patrick, a research professor at the University of Michigan and a principal investigator for Monitoring the Future, said that as a result of the study, “one of the best ways we can learn more about drug use and its impact on people is to observe which drugs are appearing, in which populations, for how long and under which contexts.”
“We can examine how and why drugs are used and highlight critical areas to guide where the research should go next,” Patrick explained, “and to inform public health interventions.”
A similar study had previously been published in the United Kingdom showing the impact of marijuana addiction as a result of frequent use. The report, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, revealed that users of cannabis with a THC potency greater than 5 to 10 milligrams per gram are at a higher risk of addiction and mental health issues. Tom Freeman, director of the addiction and mental health group at the U.K.’s University of Bath and a co-author of the study, said that users of high potency cannabis are at a “four-fold increased risk of addiction” compared to users of low potency cannabis.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that roughly 30 percent of all Americans have been diagnosed with marijuana addiction. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction notes a 76 percent increase over the last decade in treatments for addiction to marijuana, which, as Freeman notes, has been on the rise in every region of the world besides Africa.