Statistics and other data regarding drug use and other risk-taking behavior among young people, as well as drug policies related to young people including prevention, education, social development, healthcare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Marijuana Legalization May Lead To Decreased Use By Young People

"Consistent with the results of previous researchers,2 there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al4 and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.6"

Arrests of Young People on Marijuana Charges in Colorado Since Legalization

"The number of juvenile marijuana arrests decreased 16%, from 3,168 in 2012 to 2,655 in 2017. The rate of juvenile marijuana arrests per 100,000 decreased from 583 in 2012 to 453 in 2017 (‐22%).

"The number of White juvenile arrests decreased from 2,146 in 2012 to 1,703 in 2017 (‐21%).

"The number of Hispanic juvenile arrests decreased from 767 in 2012 to 733 in 2017 (‐4%).

"The number of Black juvenile arrests decreased from 202 in 2012 to 172 in 2017 (‐15%)."

Prevalence Among High School Students in the US of Ever Having Injected a Drug, by Gender

"Nationwide, 1.5% of students had used a needle to inject any illegal drug into their body one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among male (2.0%) than female (0.8%) students; higher among white male (1.4%), black male (2.6%), and Hispanic male (2.1%) than white female (0.5%), black female (1.1%), and Hispanic female (0.9%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (2.1%) and 10th-grade male (1.9%) than 9th grade female (0.6%) and 10th-grade female (0.6%) students, respectively.

Current Alcohol Use Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 29.8% of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (i.e., current alcohol use) (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among female (31.8%) than male (27.6%) students; higher among black female (24.3%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black male (16.9%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.0%) and 11th-grade female (36.8%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) and 11th-grade male (31.6%) students, respectively.

Likelihood That Young People with Diagnosed Mental Health Conditions Will be Put on Long Term Opioid Therapy

"Of the 1,000,453 opioid recipients (81.7%) with at least 6 months of follow-up, 51.1% were female, and the median age was 17 years (interquartile range, 16-18 years). Among these adolescents, the estimated cumulative incidence of LTOT [Long Term Opioid Therapy] after first opioid receipt was 1.1 (95% CI, 1.1-1.2) per 1000 recipients within 1 year, 3.0 (95% CI, 2.8-3.1) per 1000 recipients within 3 years, 8.2 (95% CI, 7.8-8.6) per 1000 recipients within 6 years, and 16.1 (95% CI, 14.2-18.0) per 1000 recipients within 10 years.