Cannabis and psychedelic use spiking among young adults: report

Cannabis and psychedelic use spiking among young adults: report
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A new report is offering details about the uptick in marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults.

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) survey compiled from April 2021 through October 2021 focuses on young adults ages 19 to 30 and suggests this age group is "using one or the other are at the highest rates since 1988," according to ABC News.

Per the news outlet: "In 2021, 43% said they'd used marijuana in the last year, which was up 34% from five years ago and 29% compared to 10 years ago. More than 1 in 10 said they now use marijuana every day, according to the study.

READ MORE: 6 Powerful Reasons to Legalize Marijuana, From the New York Times

It also reported: "Eight percent of young adults reported using hallucinogens in the past year in 2021, up from 5% in 2016 and 3% in 2011." Vape pen usage among young adults also doubled from 6% to 12% from 2017 to 2021.

In prior decades, hallucinogen usage among young adults remained relatively consistent but in 2021 that percentage spiked.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, M.D also weighed in with further details about the study. “As the drug landscape shifts over time, this data provides a window into the substances and patterns of use favored by young adults. We need to know more about how young adults are using drugs like marijuana and hallucinogens, and the health effects that result from consuming different potencies and forms of these substances,” said Volkow.

“Young adults are in a critical life stage and honing their ability to make informed choices," she said. "Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success.”

READ MORE: Here are 5 key facts about how legal weed is transforming Colorado

Megan Patrick, Ph.D., a University of Michigan research professor who also works as the principal investigator of the MTF panel study, also explained how more can be done to obtain more information about the trends in drug use.

"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,” said Patrick. “Monitoring the Future and similar large-scale surveys on a consistent sample population allow us to assess the effects of ‘natural experiments’ like the pandemic. We can examine how and why drugs are used and highlight critical areas to guide where the research should go next and to inform public health interventions.”

READ MORE: Twitter rips GOP lawmaker for reviving marijuana ‘gateway drug’ trope

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