Young People and Drugs

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Page last updated Jan. 5, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.

81. Teen Marijuana Use in Medical Marijuana States

"Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana and other substances among high school students. In fact, estimates from our preferred specifications are consistently negative and are never statistically distinguishable from zero."
"There is little evidence that marijuana use is related to the legalization of medical marijuana in either of these data sources [*], a result that is consistent with research showing that marijuana use among adults is more sensitive to changes in policy than marijuana use among youths (Farrelly et al. 1999; Williams 2004)."
[*] data sources are the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) and the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

Anderson, D. Mark; Hansen, Benjamin; and Rees, Daniel I, "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use," Social Science Research Network (May 2012), pp. 18-19.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/De...

82. Adverse Effects of Substance Use on Academic Performance

"In the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, cannabis use appears to have increased the risk of discontinuing a high school education, and of experiencing job instability in young adulthood (Newcombe and Bentler, 1988). The apparent strength of these relationships in cross-sectional studies (e.g. Kandel, 1984) has been exaggerated because those adolescents who are most likely to use cannabis have lower academic aspirations and poorer high school performance prior to using cannabis than their peers who do not (Newcombe and Bentler, 1988). It remains possible that factors other than the marijuana use account for apparent causal relations. To the extent they may exist, these adverse effects of cannabis and other drug use upon development over and above the effect of pre-existing nonconformity may cascade throughout young adult life, affecting choice of occupation, level of income, choice of mate, and the quality of life of the user and his or her children."

Hall, W., Room, R., & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1998).
http://www.druglibrary.net/sch...

83. Effect of Marijuana Use by Adolescents on Cognition and IQ Development

"In line with previous work, we found that cannabis users had lower teenage IQ scores and poorer educational performance than teenagers who had never used cannabis. At the same time, cannabis users also had higher rates of childhood behavioural problems, childhood depressive symptoms, other substance use (including use of cigarettes and alcohol) and maternal use of cannabis during pregnancy. After adjustment to account for these group differences, cannabis use by the age of 15 did not predict either lower teenage IQ scores or poorer educational performance. These findings therefore suggest that cannabis use at the modest levels used by this sample of teenagers is not by itself causally related to cognitive impairment. Instead, our findings imply that previously reported associations between adolescent cannabis use and poorer intellectual and educational outcomes may be confounded to a significant degree by related factors."

C Mokrysz, R Landy, SH Gage, MR Munafò, JP Roiser, and HV Curran, "Are IQ and educational outcomes in teenagers related to their cannabis use? A prospective cohort study," Journal of Psychopharmacology, 0269881115622241, first published on January 6, 2016 doi:10.1177/0269881115622241
http://jop.sagepub.com...
http://jop.sagepub.com...

84. Effect of Marijuana Use by Adolescents on Cognition and IQ

"In summary, the notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenage sample. However, this study indeed has limitations, in particular the young age of outcome assessment. While we have demonstrated that confounding may be an explanation for links between cannabis use and poorer outcomes, large prospective cohorts tracking young people prior to, during and after stopping cannabis use, using more objective measures of drug use (e.g. the new NIH-funded ‘ABCD study’ in the United States; National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2015) are required before we can make strong conclusions. Cigarette smoking in particular has once again (Hooper et al., 2014; McCaffrey et al., 2010; Silins et al., 2014; Stiby et al., 2014) been highlighted as an important factor in adolescent outcomes, as well as a robust independent predictor of educational performance, and the reasons for this need to be elucidated."

C Mokrysz, R Landy, SH Gage, MR Munafò, JP Roiser, and HV Curran, "Are IQ and educational outcomes in teenagers related to their cannabis use? A prospective cohort study," Journal of Psychopharmacology, 0269881115622241, first published on January 6, 2016 doi:10.1177/0269881115622241
http://jop.sagepub.com...
http://jop.sagepub.com...

85. Effect of Cannabis Use and Nicotine Use by Adolescents on Cognition and IQ

"Compared with those in our sample who had never tried cannabis, teenagers who had used cannabis at least 50 times were 17 times more likely (84% vs. 5%) to have smoked cigarettes more than 20 times in their lifetime. Accounting for group differences in cigarette smoking dramatically attenuated the associations between cannabis use and both IQ and educational performance. Further, even after excluding those who had never tried cannabis, cigarette users were found to have lower educational performance (adjusted performance 2.9 percentage points lower, approximately equivalent to dropping two grades on one subject taken at GCSE) relative to those who had never tried cigarettes. A relationship between cigarette use and poorer cognitive (Chamberlain et al., 2012; Hooper et al., 2014; Weiser et al., 2010; Whalley et al., 2005) and educational (McCaffrey et al., 2010; Silins et al., 2014; Stiby et al., 2014) outcomes has been noted previously, and may have a number of explanations. Cigarette use may have a negative impact on cognitive ability. However, this is not supported by the experimental psychopharmacology literature, which robustly shows that acute nicotine administration results in transient cognitive enhancement (Heishman et al., 2010). Alternatively, reverse causality may contribute to this relationship, for example performing poorly at school may lead to increased engagement in risky behaviours such as cigarette smoking. Further, residual confounding may contribute to this link: cigarette smoking may be a marker of unmeasured factors, for example social adversity during adolescence, that influence both IQ and educational attainment."

C Mokrysz, R Landy, SH Gage, MR Munafò, JP Roiser, and HV Curran, "Are IQ and educational outcomes in teenagers related to their cannabis use? A prospective cohort study," Journal of Psychopharmacology, 0269881115622241, first published on January 6, 2016 doi:10.1177/0269881115622241
http://jop.sagepub.com...
http://jop.sagepub.com...

86. IQ Decline Among Adolescent-Onset Marijuana Users

"In the present study, the most persistent adolescent-onset cannabis users evidenced an average 8-point IQ decline from childhood to adulthood. Quitting, however, may have beneficial effects, preventing additional impairment for adolescent-onset users. Prevention and policy efforts should focus on delivering to the public the message that cannabis use during adolescence can have harmful effects on neuropsychological functioning, delaying the onset of cannabis use at least until adulthood, and encouraging cessation of cannabis use particularly for those who began using cannabis in adolescence."

Madeline H. Meier, Avshalom Caspi, Antony Ambler, HonaLee Harrington, Renate Houts, Richard S. E. Keefe, Kay McDonald, Aimee Ward, Richie Poulton, and Terrie E. Moffitt, "Persistent Cannabis Users Show Neuropsychological Decline from Childhood to Midlife, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, p. 6.
www.pnas.org...

87. Cognitive Deficit Among Adolescent-Onset Marijuana Users

"Our findings suggest that regular cannabis use before age 18 y predicts impairment, but others have found effects only for younger ages (10, 15). Given that the brain undergoes dynamic changes from the onset of puberty through early adulthood (37, 38), this developmental period should be the focus of future research on the age(s) at which harm occurs."

Madeline H. Meier, Avshalom Caspi, Antony Ambler, HonaLee Harrington, Renate Houts, Richard S. E. Keefe, Kay McDonald, Aimee Ward, Richie Poulton, and Terrie E. Moffitt, "Persistent Cannabis Users Show Neuropsychological Decline from Childhood to Midlife, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, p. 1.
http://www.pnas.org...

88. Early Use of Marijuana

"The younger and more often teens use marijuana, the more likely they are to engage in other substance use and the higher their risk of developing a substance use disorder. Among high school students, 7.5 percent used marijuana for the first time before the age of 13. CASA’s analysis of national data finds that the average age of initiation of marijuana use among high school students is 14.3 years old. Compared to those who began using marijuana after age 21, those who first used it before age 15 are:
• More likely to have ever smoked a cigarette (93.3 percent vs. 86.4 percent);
• More than twice as likely to have ever misused controlled prescription drugs (56.5 percent vs. 22.9 percent); and
• Two and a half times as likely to have ever used other illicit drugs (70.2 percent vs. 27.8 percent)."

"Adolescent Substance Abuse: America's #1 Public Health Problem," National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, June 2011, p. 27.
http://www.casacolumbia.org...

89. Prevalence and Perceived Risk From Marijuana Use Among Young People in the US

"Annual marijuana prevalence peaked among 12th graders in 1979 at 51%, following a rise that began during the 1960s. Then use declined fairly steadily for 13 years, bottoming at 22% in 1992—a decline of more than half. The 1990s, however, saw a resurgence of use. After a considerable increase (one that actually began among 8th graders a year earlier than among 10th and 12th graders), annual prevalence rates peaked in 1996 at 8th grade and in 1997 at 10th and 12th grades. After these peak years, use declined among all three grades through 2007 or 2008. After these declines, an upturn occurred in use in all three grades, lasting for three years in the lower grades and longer in grade 12. Annual marijuana prevalence among 8th graders increased in use from 2007 to 2010, decreased slightly from 2010 to 2012, and then declined significantly in 2016. Among 10th graders, use increased somewhat from 2008 to 2013 and then declined after that. Among 12th graders, use increased from 2006 to 2011 and then held level through 2016. As shown in Table 8, daily use increased in all three grades after 2007, reaching peaks in 2011 (at 1.3% in 8th), 2013 (at 4.0% in 10th), and 2011 (at 6.6% in 12th), before declining slightly since. Daily prevalence rates in 2016 were 0.7%, 2.5%, and 6.0%, respectively, with one in seventeen 12th graders smoking daily."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2016: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 11.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

90. Marijuana Use vs. Tobacco Use

"High school students are more likely to use marijuana than to smoke cigarettes. High school students are:
"• More likely to have tried marijuana than tobacco (24 percent vs. 15 percent); and
"• More likely to say their close friends use marijuana than smoke cigarettes (51 percent vs. 39 percent)."

QEV Analytics, LTD., "National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, August 2012), p. 30.
http://www.casacolumbia.org...

91. Marijuana Use by Peers and Perception of Harm

"Teens also say they are seeing more peers in school smoking marijuana and more teens (73 percent) report having friends who smoke marijuana regularly (71 percent) – significantly higher than four years ago. Since 2008, there have also been significant declines in teen perceptions that they will lose respect, harm themselves, or mess up their lives if they use marijuana."

"The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: 2011 Parents and Teens Full Report," MetLife Foundation and The Partnership at Drugfree.org (New York, NY: May 2, 2012), p. 7.
http://www.drugfree.org...

92. Cannabis and Adolescent Motivation

"The apparent strength of these relationships in cross-sectional studies (e.g. Kandel, 1984) has been exaggerated because those adolescents who are most likely to use cannabis have lower academic aspirations and poorer high school performance prior to using cannabis than their peers who do not (Newcombe and Bentler, 1988). It remains possible that factors other than the marijuana use account for apparent causal relations. To the extent they may exist, these adverse effects of cannabis and other drug use upon development over and above the effect of pre-existing nonconformity may cascade throughout young adult life, affecting choice of occupation, level of income, choice of mate, and the quality of life of the user and his or her children."

Hall, W., Room, R., & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1998).
http://www.druglibrary.net...

93. Number of Juveniles Held in Adult Jails in the US

"About 4,200 juveniles age 17 or younger were held in local jails at midyear 2014. They accounted for 0.6% of the confined population, down from 1.2% at midyear 2000. Nearly 90% or 3,700 juvenile inmates were tried or awaiting trial in adult court. The number of juveniles not charged as an adult declined by 74% between midyear 2010 and 2014 (from 1,900 to 500 inmates)."

Todd D. Minton and Zhen Zeng, PhD, "Jail Inmates at Midyear 2014," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: Department of Justice, June 2015), NCJ248629, p. 4.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm...
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

94. Risk Factors for Substance Use by Young People

"The risk factors were stronger predictors of substance use outcomes compared to the protective factors, regardless of grade level or substance use type. In particular, the individual and peer risk factors were strongly related to lifetime and recent use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Among the protective factors, the strongest associations with substance use were found in the community domain. Several age-related differences in the associations were also found, suggesting that family and community factors were more salient among younger grades whereas peer and school factors were stronger among older adolescents."

Michael J. Cleveland, Ph.D; Mark E. Feinberg, Ph.D.; Daniel E. Bontempo, Ph.D.; and Mark T. Greenberg, Ph.D., "The Role of Risk and Protective Factors in Substance Use across Adolescence," Journal of Adolescent Health, (August 2008); 43(2): 157–164.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

95. Addiction and Adolescent Brain Development

"Addictive substances also adversely affect brain development and maturation in the areas related to motivation, judgment, inhibition and selfcontrol.26 As a result, addictive substances impair the judgment of teens in the face of potential rewards, leading not only to their engagement in risky behaviors--such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or participating in unsafe sexual practices--but also to continued use of addictive substances despite negative consequences.27

Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem," The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, June 2011), p. 13.
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad...

96. Predictors of Substance Use

"Social learning variables, peer attitudes (prevalence of norms favourable to deviant behaviour), personal approval (adoption of deviant norms), and peer behaviour have an effect on frequency of alcohol use and alcohol abuse. Alcohol expectancies and peer delinquency predict alcohol consumption of adolescents.
"Going out most evenings and the use of cannabis by peers and older siblings is associated with adolescents’ use of cannabis.
"Having school-related problems is a strong predictor in all stages of cannabis involvement (initiation of experimental use, initiation of regular use, progression to regular use, failure to discontinue, experimental use, failure to discontinue, regular use)."

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Preventing later substance use disorders in at-risk children and adolescents: a review of the theory and evidence base of indicated prevention" (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2009) , p. 15.
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/at...

97. Risk Taking and the Adolescent Brain

"In sum, risk taking declines between adolescence and adulthood for two, and perhaps, three reasons. First, the maturation of the cognitive control system, as evidenced by structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex, strengthens individuals’ abilities to engage in longer-term planning and inhibit impulsive behavior. Second, the maturation of connections across cortical areas and between cortical and subcortical regions facilitates the coordination of cognition and affect, which permits individuals to better modulate socially and emotionally aroused inclinations with deliberative reasoning and, conversely, to modulate excessively deliberative decision-making with social and emotional information. Finally, there may be developmental changes in patterns of neurotransmission after adolescence that change reward salience and reward-seeking, but this is a topic that requires further behavioral and neurobiological research before saying anything definitive."

Steinberg, Laurence, "A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking," Developmental Review: Perspectives in Behavior and Cognition (May 27, 2008), Vol 28, Issue 1, p. 18.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

98. Depression, Mood Disorders, and Marijuana Use

"Depressive disorders have an association with alcohol abuse or dependence and cannabis dependence. There are also reciprocal effects of suicidality and substance use. Mood disorders (including bipolar disorders — hypomania and mania) predict increased rates for cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. For anxiety disorders, results were variable."

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Preventing later substance use disorders in at-risk children and adolescents: a review of the theory and evidence base of indicated prevention" (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2009) , p. 20.
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/at...

99. Risky Behavior and Substance Use

"In commenting on problem behaviors among youth, Jessor and Jessor (1975) and later Jessor (1984) argued that adolescence is a period in which youth reject conventionality and traditional authority figures in an effort to establish their own independence. For a significant number of adolescents, this rejection consists of engaging in a number of 'risky' behaviors, including drug and alcohol use. Within the past few years, researchers and practitioners have begun to focus on this tendency, suggesting that drug use may be a 'default' activity engaged in when youth have few or no opportunities to assert their independence in a constructive manner (Benard 1994; gentler 1992; Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development 1992; Cato 1992; Maddahian et al. 1988; Pransky 1991). They note that in contemporary American society, youth have very few opportunities to participate in activities that allow them to develop a sense of independence and assume significant responsibilities. Such efforts must allow youth to exercise considerable control over activity development and implementation."

Maria Carmona and Kathryn Stewart, A Review of Alternative Activities and Alternatives Programs in Youth-Oriented Prevention (National Center for the Advancement of Prevention, under contract for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1996), p. 5.
http://vvv.dmhas.state.ct.us/s...

100. Monitoring The Future Survey on the Potential Impact of Legalization On Youth Marijuana Use

"Marijuana is one drug that is affected by some very specific policies, including medicalization and legalization of recreational use by adults. The effects on youth behaviors and attitudes of recent changes in a number of states will need to be carefully monitored in future years. Currently, marijuana does not hold the same appeal for youth as it did in the past, and today’s annual prevalance among 12th graders of 36% is considerably lower than rates exceeding 50% in the 1970s (documented by this project). However, if states that legalize recreational marijuana allow marijuana advertising and marketing, then prevalence could rebound and approach or even surpass past levels."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). Monitoring the Future national results on drug use: 1975-2013: Overview, Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 49.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

101. Family Risk and Protective Factors

"Family risk factors in the development of adolescent substance use are: known familial substance use or abuse, and a lack of parental supervision. Protective factors are: warm and supportive family environment, prosocial family processes (rules, monitoring) and attachment."

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Preventing later substance use disorders in at-risk children and adolescents: a review of the theory and evidence base of indicated prevention" (Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2009) , p. 15.
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/at...

102. Zero Tolerance Policies

"The disciplinary policies in effect in many schools today apply zero tolerance to public school students in three draconian ways. First, they are blind to the most basic distinctions between types of offenses. In many schools, dangerousness is irrelevant; the penalties are the same for weapons and alcohol, sale and possession, robbery, and disorderly offenses. Offenses that used to be resolved informally with an apology or an after-school detention now lead to formal disciplinary hearings. Second, they require a severe sanction, typically suspension or expulsion, for all of these offenses, regardless of the circumstances of the offense or the intent, history and prospects of the offender. Third, these policies generally mandate some degree of information-sharing with law enforcement. This multiplies the consequences of student misconduct in two directions: out-of-school offenses referred to the child’s school may result in suspension or other sanctions,18 and in-school infractions referred to law enforcement agencies may result in juvenile or criminal prosecution."

Eric Blumenson, Eva S. Nilsen, "How to Construct an Underclass, or How the War on Drugs Became a War on Education," The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, (May 2002), p. 65.
http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/view...

103. Generational Forgetting

"Another point worth keeping in mind is that there tends to be a continuous flow of new drugs onto the scene and of older ones being rediscovered by young people. Many drugs have made a comeback years after they first fell from popularity, often because knowledge among youth of their adverse consequences faded as generational replacement took place. We call this process 'generational forgetting.' Examples include LSD and methamphetamine, two drugs used widely in the 1960s that made a comeback in the 1990s after their initial popularity faded as a result of their adverse consequences becoming widely recognized during periods of high use. Heroin, cocaine, PCP, and crack are some others that have followed a similar pattern. LSD, inhalants, and ecstasy have all shown some effects of generational forgetting in recent years — that is, perceived risk has declined appreciably for those drugs — which puts future cohorts at greater risk of having a resurgence in use. In the case of LSD, perceived risk among 8th graders has declined noticeably, and more students are saying that they are not familiar with the drug. It would appear that a resurgence in availability (which declined very sharply after about 2001, most likely due to the FDA closing a major lab in 2000) could generate another increase in use."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). Monitoring the Future national results on drug use: 1975-2013: Overview, Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 49.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

104. Alcohol Prevalence Among US Adolescents, 2013

"• Alcohol and cigarettes are the two major licit drugs included in the MTF surveys, though even these are legally prohibited for purchase by those the age of most of our respondents. Alcohol use is more widespread than use of illicit drugs. About seven out of ten 12th-grade students (68%) have at least tried alcohol, and approximately four out of ten (39%) are current drinkers—that is, they reported consuming some alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey (Table 4-2). Even among 8th graders, more than a quarter (28%)report any alcohol use in their lifetime, and one in ten (10%) is a current (past 30-day) drinker.34
"• Of greater concern than just any use of alcohol is its use to the point of inebriation: In 2013 one eighth of all 8th graders (12%), one third of 10th graders (34%), and about a half of all 12th graders (52%) said they had been drunk at least once in their lifetime. The prevalence rates of self-reported drunkenness during the 30 days immediately preceding the survey are strikingly high—4%, 13%, and 26%, respectively, for grades 8, 10, and 12.
"• Another measure of heavy drinking asks respondents to report how many occasions during the previous two-week period they had consumed five or more drinks in a row. Prevalence rates for this behavior, which is also referred to as binge drinking or episodic heavy drinking, are 5%, 14%, and 22% for the three grades, respectively."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E. & Miech, R. A. (2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 90-91.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

105. Exposure to Prevention Messages by Youth In and Outside of School, 2012

"• In 2012, 75.9 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages in the past year from sources outside of school, such as from posters or pamphlets, on the radio, or on television. This rate in 2012 was similar to the 75.1 percent reported in 2011, but was lower than the 83.2 percent reported in 2002 (Figure 6.6). In 2012, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs among those who reported having such exposure (9.4 percent) was not significantly different from the prevalence among those who reported having no such exposure (10.0 percent).
"• In 2012, 75.0 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 enrolled in school in the past year reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages at school, which was similar to the 74.6 percent reported in 2011, but was lower than the 78.8 percent reported in 2002 (Figure 6.6). In 2012, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs or marijuana was lower among those who reported having such exposure in school (8.9 and 6.7 percent for illicit drugs and marijuana, respectively) than among youths who were enrolled in school but reported having no such exposure (12.3 and 9.7 percent)."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 72.
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...
http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSD...

106. Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws (MMLs) on Cannabis Use by Youth

"We replicated the findings of Wall et al. (2) that marijuana use was higher in states that have passed MMLs, and our analysis suggests this is unlikely to be a causal association. Our difference-in-differences estimates suggest little detectable effects of passing MMLs on marijuana use or perceived riskiness of use among adolescents or adults, which is consistent with some limited prior evidence on arrestees and emergency department patients (17). Future analyses that take advantage of additional policy changes may provide further evidence on this question, but our results suggest that such analyses should adequately control for potential confounding by unmeasured state characteristics."

Sam Harper, Erin C. Strumpf, and Jay S. Kaufman, "Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Marijuana Use? Replication Study and Extension," Annals of Epidemiology, March 2012 (Vol. 22, Issue 3, Pages 207-212, DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2011.12.002).
http://download.journals.elsev...

107. Adolescents - Usage - 12-24-09

(Non-Recreational Adolescent Marijuana Use) "The findings of this study provide one of the first in-depth descriptions of youths' use of marijuana for non-recreational purposes, adding to the growing body of research on the use of drugs to self-medicate among young people. Teens involved in regular and long-term use of marijuana for relief constructed their use of marijuana as essential to feeling better or 'normal' in situations where they perceived there were few other options available to them. Unlike the spontaneity typically involved in recreational use, these youth were thoughtful and prescriptive with their marijuana use – carefully monitoring and titrating their use to optimize its therapeutic effect. The findings also point to important contextual factors that further support youth's use of marijuana for relief that extend beyond the availability of marijuana and dominant discourses that construct marijuana as a natural product with medicinal properties."

Bottorff, Joan L , Johnson, Joy L, Moffat, Barbara M, and Mulvogue, Tamsin, "Relief-oriented use of marijuana by teens," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy (Vancouver, BC: April 2009), doi:10.1186/1747-597X-4-7.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

108. Youth Medical Marijuana Use and Unmet Health Needs

"Of key importance in the findings are the unmet health needs of these youth. Health issues such as depression, insomnia, and anxiety were significant problems that interfered with these youths' ability to function at school, maintain relationships with family and friends, and feel that they could live a normal life. The level of distress associated with these health concerns, along with the lack of effective interventions by heath care providers and family members appeared to leave them with few alternatives. Researchers have reported that when adolescents in rural communities experience barriers to seeking health care, they think they can take care of the problems themselves [30]. Similarly, our study participants believed that their best option was to assume responsibility for treating their problems by using marijuana. Unpleasant side effects with prescribed medications and long, ineffective therapies resulted in little hope that the medical system could be counted on as beneficial. In contrast, marijuana provided these youth with immediate relief for a variety of health concerns. Nevertheless, the regular use of marijuana put youth at risk. Cannabis use has been identified as a risk factor for mental illness such as psychosis, schizophrenia [21,31,32] and psychiatric symptoms such as panic attacks [33]. Teens who smoked marijuana at least once per month in the past year were found to be three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-users [34], and there is evidence that exposure to cannabis may worsen depression in youth [35]. Marijuana use among youth has also been associated with other substance use and school failure [36]. What is interesting is that the findings of this study suggest that youth have little awareness of some of these risks; rather, some are using marijuana to counteract these very problems (e.g., depression, school failure). Teens' perceptions that their health concerns were not addressed suggest that more attention is needed to assess these issues and ensure that other options are available to them. Parents and health care providers need to make a concerted effort to not only understand the pressures and influences on youth [37], but also gain a better understanding of the effect of youths' health problems on their ability to engage in healthy lifestyle choices."

Bottorff, Joan L , Johnson, Joy L, Moffat, Barbara M, and Mulvogue, Tamsin, "Relief-oriented use of marijuana by teens," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy (Vancouver, BC: April 2009), doi:10.1186/1747-597X-4-7.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

109. Youth Medical Marijuana Use and Reasons for Self-Medication

"Underlying problems related to youth health concerns also need to be addressed. In many situations, the participants' symptoms appeared to be directly related to their life circumstances. Along with the challenges inherent in being an adolescent in today's complex world, some teens were also trying to deal with significant losses (death of a close friend or family member), extremely difficult family relationships, disappointments with friends, school and sports, and a fragile family and peer support network. The risk of substance use increases substantially when youth are attempting to deal with these kinds of situations in isolation. Although marijuana provided the youth with temporary relief, the underlying situation often went unattended – leading the teens into a regular pattern of use. Appropriate guidance and targeted support from counselors and health care providers must be sensitive to meeting the needs of youth as they work through such situations and life altering events. In addition, adults working with youth must find better ways to talk with young people about how they are coping with their health issues, including their marijuana use. Based on the experiences of youth in this study, there is a wide range of support that may benefit youth including counseling, stress management, social skills training, anger management, study skills, pain management, and sleep hygiene. The youth in this study had minimal access to these types of resources."

Bottorff, Joan L , Johnson, Joy L, Moffat, Barbara M, and Mulvogue, Tamsin, "Relief-oriented use of marijuana by teens," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy (Vancouver, BC: April 2009), doi:10.1186/1747-597X-4-7.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

110. Effects of State Medical Marijuana Laws (MMLs) on Youth Marijuana Use

"We found no evidence of intermediate-term effects of passage of state MMLs on the prevalence or frequency of adolescent nonmedical marijuana use in the states evaluated, with 2 minor exceptions. From 2003 through 2009, adolescent lifetime prevalence of marijuana use and frequency of daily marijuana use decreased significantly in Montana, as compared with a more modest decrease in lifetime prevalence and an increase in daily frequency observed in Delaware (Ps = .03). These 2 statistically significant findings do not appear to represent real effects. Our difference-in-differences study design involved 40 planned comparisons (before---after differences in treatment vs comparison states), and naturally 2 significant results (at the P < .05 level) of a possible 40 can be expected according to chance alone.
"Moreover, the pattern is not consistent with an effect of MMLs. A significant effect was found for lifetime marijuana use but not past-month marijuana use. Self-reported lifetime use requires a much longer recall period than past-month use and is characterized by higher measurement error.13 Also, one would expect the 30-day use measure to be more sensitive than lifetime use to the effects of a change in MMLs, because most of the period covered by respondents’ lifetime reports occurred before passage of an MML.
"Finally, the significant increase in daily marijuana use was observed for the comparison state of Delaware, which had not enacted an MML during the years under evaluation, whereas the frequency of daily marijuana use in Montana decreased. This is the opposite of
what would be expected if MMLs had the deleterious effect of increasing the frequency of nonmedical marijuana use.
"Conversely, the significant effects observed were found between the 2 states that differed the most on the timing of MML enactment, maximizing the length of the follow-up period. Hence, it is reasonable to suspect that enacting an MML may influence the prevalence and frequency of adolescent nonmedical marijuana use half a decade later, despite no evidence of more proximal effects."

Sarah D. Lynne-Landsman, PhD, Melvin D. Livingston, BA, and Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD, "Effects of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Adolescent Marijuana Use," American Journal of Public Health, June 13, 2013.
Abstract at: http://ajph.aphapublications.o...

111. Alcohol Use Among US Youth, 2014

"• Alcohol and cigarettes are the two major licit drugs included in the MTF surveys, though even these are legally prohibited for purchase by those the age of most of our respondents. Alcohol use is more widespread than use of illicit drugs. About two thirds of 12th-grade students (66%) have at least tried alcohol, and more than one third (37%) are current drinkers — that is, they reported consuming some alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey (Table 4-2). Even among 8th graders, more than a quarter (27%) reported any alcohol use in their lifetime, and one in eleven (9%) is a current (past 30 day) drinker.4
"• Of greater concern than just any use of alcohol is its use to the point of inebriation: In 2014 one ninth of all 8th graders (11%), three tenths of 10th graders (30%), and half of all 12th graders (50%) said they had been drunk at least once in their lifetime. The levels of selfreported drunkenness during the 30 days immediately preceding the survey are strikingly high — 3%, 11%, and 24%, respectively, for grades 8, 10, and 12."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on
drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 85.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

112. Cigarette Use Among US Youth, 2014

"• Prevalence of cigarettes is generally higher than for any of the illicit drugs, except for marijuana. About one third (34%) of 12th graders reported having tried cigarettes at some time, and one seventh (14%) smoked in the prior 30 days. Even among 8th graders, about one seventh (14%) reported having tried cigarettes and 4% reported smoking in the prior 30 days. Among 10th graders, 23% reported having tried cigarettes, and 7.2% reported smoking in the prior 30 days. The percentages reporting smoking cigarettes in the prior 30 days are actually lower in all three grades in 2014 than the percentages reporting using marijuana in the prior 30 days: 4.0% for cigarettes versus 6.5% for marijuana in 8th grade; 7.2% versus 16.6% in 10th grade; and 13.6% versus 21.2% in 12th grade. These numbers reflect mostly the considerable decline in cigarette use that has occurred in recent years, though the recent increase in marijuana use has contributed to their standing relative to each other as well. Among 8th, 10th and 12th graders, lifetime prevalence of marijuana use in 2014 was also higher than lifetime prevalence of cigarette use. (Annual prevalence of cigarettes is not assessed.) As noted below, however, daily use in the prior 30 days was higher for cigarettes than for marijuana or alcohol in 8th and 12th grades. For 10th graders marijuana daily use was higher than daily cigarette use (3.4% versus 3.2%)."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (June 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2014: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 85.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

113. Attitudes of US 12th Graders Toward Legalization of Marijuana, 2013

"• Table 8-8 lists the proportions of 12th graders in 2013 who favor various legal consequences for marijuana use: making it entirely legal (42%), a minor violation like a parking ticket but not a crime (25%), or a crime (21%). The remaining 13% said they 'don’t know.' It is noteworthy just how variable attitudes about this contentious issue are.
"• Asked whether they thought it should be legal to sell marijuana if it were legal to use it, about three in five (61%) said 'yes.' However, about 85% of those answering 'yes' (52% of all respondents) would permit sale only to adults. A small minority (9%) favored the sale to anyone, regardless of age, while 29% said that sale should not be legal even if use were made legal, and 10% said they 'don’t know.' Thus, while the majority subscribe to the idea of legal sale, if use is allowed, the great majority agree with the notion that sale to underage people should not be legal.
"• Most 12th graders felt that they would be little affected personally by the legalization of either the sale or the use of marijuana. Over half (56%) of the respondents said that they would not use the drug even if it were legal to buy and use, while others indicated they would use it about as often as they do now (15%) or less often (1.5%). Only 9% said they would use it more often than they do at present, while 10% thought they would try it. Another 9% said they did not know how their behavior would be affected if marijuana were legalized. Still, this amounts to 19% of all seniors, or about one in five, who thought that they would try marijuana, or that their use would increase, if marijuana were legalized.
"A study of the effects of decriminalization by several states during the late 1970s found no evidence of any impact on the use of marijuana among young people, nor on attitudes and beliefs concerning its use.88 However, it should be noted that decriminalization falls well short of the full legalization posited in the questions here. Moreover, the situation today is very different from the one in the late 1970s, with more peer disapproval and more rigorous enforcement of drug laws, at least until very recently. Some recent studies suggest that there might be an impact of decriminalization, because 'youths living in decriminalized states are significantly more likely to report currently using marijuana.'89 As more states adopt decriminalization or full legalization for adults, (as occurred in 2012 in Colorado and the state of Washington), it seems quite possible that attitudes about and use of marijuana will change. Declines in perceived risk and disapproval of marijuana would seem the most likely attitudinal changes, and such changes may well lead to increased use among youth."

"89: Chaloupka, F. J., Pacula, R. L., Farrelly, M. C., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., & Bray, J. W. (February 1999). Do higher cigarette prices encourage youth to use marijuana? (NBER Working Paper No. 6939). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E. & Miech, R. A. (2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, pp. 400-401.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

114. Supply Reduction Versus Demand Reduction

"Overall, supply reduction—that is, reducing the availability of drugs—does not appear to have played as major a role as many had assumed in four of the five most important downturns in illicit drug use that have occurred to date, namely, those for marijuana, cocaine, crack, and ecstasy (see, for example, Figures 8-4, 8-5, and 8-6). The case of cocaine is particularly striking, as perceived availability actually rose during much of the period of downturn in use that began in the mid- 1980s. (These data are corroborated by data from the Drug Enforcement Administration on trends in the price and purity of cocaine on the streets.8) For marijuana, perceived availability has remained very high for 12th graders since 1976, while use dropped substantially from 1979 through 1992 and has fluctuated considerably thereafter. Perceived availability for ecstasy did increase in parallel with increasing use in the 1990s, but the decline phase for use appears to have been driven much more by changing beliefs about the dangers of ecstasy than by any sharp downturn in availability. Similarly, amphetamine use declined appreciably from 1981 to 1992, with only a modest corresponding change in perceived availability. Finally, until 1995, heroin use had not risen among 12th graders even though availability had increased substantially.

"• What did change dramatically were young peoples’ beliefs about the dangers of using marijuana, cocaine, crack, and ecstasy. We believe that increases in perceived risk led to a decrease in use directly through their impact on young people’s demand for these drugs and indirectly through their impact on personal disapproval and, subsequently, peer norms. Because the perceived risk of amphetamine use was changing little when amphetamine use was declining substantially (1981–1986), other factors must have helped to account for the decline in demand for that class of drugs—quite conceivably some displacement by cocaine. Because three classes of drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines) have shown different patterns of change, it is highly unlikely that a general factor (e.g., a broad shift in attitudes about drug use) can explain their various trends.

"• The increase in marijuana use in the 1990s among 12th graders added more compelling evidence to this interpretation. It was both preceded and accompanied by a decrease in perceived risk. (Between 1991 and 1997, the perceived risk of regular marijuana use declined 21 percentage points.) Perceived peer disapproval dropped sharply from 1993 through 1997, after perceived risk began to change, consistent with our interpretation that perceived risk can be an important determinant of disapproval as well as of use. Perceived availability remained fairly constant from 1991 to 1993 and then increased seven percentage points through 1998.9

"• We do think that the expansion in the world supply of heroin, particularly in the 1990s, had the effect of dramatically raising the purity of heroin available on the streets, thus allowing for new means of ingestion, such as snorting and smoking. The advent of new forms of heroin, rather than any change in respondents’ beliefs about the dangers associated with injecting heroin, very likely contributed to the fairly sharp increase in heroin use in the 1990s. Evidence from this study, showing that a significant portion of the self-reported heroin users in recent years are using by means other than injection, lends credibility to this interpretation. The dramatic decline in LSD use in the early to mid 2000s is also not explainable by means of concurrent changes in perceived risk or disapproval; but availability did decline sharply during this period and very likely played a key role in reducing the use of that drug.

"We should also note that other factors, such as price, could play an important role for some drugs. Analyses of MTF data have shown, for example, that price probably played an important role in the decline of marijuana use in the 1980s, and in changes in cigarette use in the 1990s.10,11 However, price does not appear to have the same influence in all periods for all drugs, as the dramatic reduction in cocaine prevalence during the late 1980s took place at the same time that the price of cocaine decreased,12 contrary to the supply/demand model."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2018). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2017: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at
http://monitoringthefuture.org...
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

115. Drug Use by Young People in the US and Nations in the European Union

"On average, 7% of the ESPAD students stated that they had used marijuana or hashish during the past 30 days. As a proportion of the group reporting lifetime use, this corresponds to roughly four in ten. The highest rates of past-30-days cannabis use are found in the two neighbouring countries of France and Monaco (24% and 21%, respectively), followed by the United States (not an ESPAD country) (18 %) and the Czech Republic and Spain (not an ESPAD country) (15% each). In these top countries, about 10% of all students had used cannabis at an average frequency roughly corresponding to at least once a week during the period in question (3–5 times or more in the past 30 days). This proportion is considerably larger than the average for all ESPAD countries (4%)."

"The 2011 ESPAD Report: Substance Use Among Students in 36 European Countries" (Stockholm, Sweden: Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs, May 2012), p. 88.
http://www.espad.org/Uploads/E...

116. Any Drug Use vs Specific Drug Use

"Overall, these data reveal that, while use of individual drugs (other than marijuana) may fluctuate widely, the proportion using any of them is much more stable. In other words, the proportion of students prone to using such drugs and willing to cross the normative barriers to such use changes more gradually. The usage rate for each individual drug, on the other hand, reflects many more rapidly changing determinants specific to that drug: how widely its psychoactive potential is recognized, how favorable the reports of its supposed benefits are, how risky its use is seen to be, how acceptable it is in the peer group, how accessible it is, and so on."

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2012. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 10.
http://www.monitoringthefuture...

117. Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

There were an estimated 195,700 arrests of young people for drug abuse violations in 2007.
"Between 1990 and 1997, the juvenile arrest rate for drug abuse violations increased 145%. The rate declined 21% between 1997 and 2007, but the 2007 rate was still almost double the 1990 rate.
"Over the 1980–2007 period, the juvenile drug arrest rate for whites peaked in 1997 and then held relatively constant through 2007 (down 10%). In contrast, the rate for blacks peaked in 1995, then fell 49% by 2002. Despite the recent increase—23% since 2002—the rate in 2007 was 37% less than the 1995 peak."

Puzzanchera, Charles, "Juvenile Arrests 2007" (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, April 2009), p. 10.
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1...

118. Adolescents and Crime: The School To Prison Pipeline

"The 'School to Prison Pipeline' and similar concepts are used to describe how some youth are seemingly on a one-way path that begins with becoming disconnected with school, then continues to dropping out, and later entering the justice system. School policies that rely on overly punitive responses to student behavior and a reliance on law enforcement to address school discipline have led to increases in suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the juvenile justice system for even minor infractions. As a result, students are taken out of school, missing important educational opportunities and, in some cases, made unable to return to school. The School to Prison Pipeline not only sends students directly into the justice system, but missed educational opportunities are linked to increased risk that a student will one day be involved in the justice system."

Petteruti, Amanda, "Education under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools," Justice Policy Institute (Washington, DC: November 2011), p. 19.
http://www.justicepolicy.org/u...

119. Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention estimated that in 2007 there were 195,700 arrests of juveniles for drug abuse violations out of a total 2,180,500 juvenile arrests. By comparison, there were 97,100 violent crime index offense arrests and 419,000 property crime index offense arrests of juveniles that year.

Puzzanchera, Charles, "Juvenile Arrests 2007" (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, April 2009), p. 3.
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1...

120. Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs by US Youth in Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined, 1998-2014


Click here for the complete datatable of Annual Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs by US Youth in Grades 8, 10, and 12 Combined, 1998-2014

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (February 2015). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2014: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Table 2, p. 56.
http://monitoringthefuture.org...

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