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NIH Study: Marijuana and Hallucinogen Use at an “All-time High” Among Young Adults

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

This week, the National Institutes on Health (NIH) shared data from this year’s Monitoring the Future study, which found that in 2021, marijuana and hallucinogen use reported by young adults aged 19 to 30 years old increased significantly. Rates of nicotine and marijuana vaping among young adults also increased in 2021. Alcohol, which remains the most used substance among participants in the study, with binge drinking rebounding in 2021 and high-intensity drinking reaching its highest level ever recorded. However, past alcohol use and daily drinking continue on a downward trend in young adults. The study also found significant decreases in cigarette smoking by young adults and nonmedical use of opioid medications in 2021 compared to 10 years ago.

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shared, “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. Young adults are in a critical life stage and honing their ability to make informed choices. Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success.”


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