United States: Cannabis consumption reaches record highs among young people

According to a report published Monday, August 22 by the National Institutes of Health, the use of marijuana and certain hallucinogens among young Americans reached an all-time high in 2021. An upward trend that is accompanied by an increase excessive alcohol consumption in people under 30.

Nearly one in two young Americans has used marijuana in the last twelve months. This is the main lesson of a study by Monitoring the Future at the University of Michigan, conducted among 5,000 young adults between the ages of 19 and 30 and published by the National Institutes of Health. In concrete terms, nearly 43% of young people surveyed said they had used marijuana in the last 12 months, compared to 29% in 2011 and nearly 34% in 2016.

In detail, more than 28% of minors said they had consumed this substance in the last 30 days and more than 10% said they were daily consumers, i.e. consumption equal to 20 times over 30 days. According to the report, the rates recorded were the “highest levels on record since the indices first became available in 1988”.

A record also broken for hallucinogens

The consumption of hallucinogens other than LSD has also reached a record level with more than 6% of young people declaring that they have consumed them during the last twelve months.

Only the consumption of MDMA among this population has fallen over the past year with 2.6% of consumers, a continuous decline with 4.8% in 2016 and 4.5% in 2020.

Excessive alcohol consumption on the rise

However, the substance most used among the adults in the study remains alcohol, since one in three young people questioned declared that they had excessive alcohol consumption, that is to say 5 drinks or more in a row.

Along the same lines, “high-intensity” consumption levels, comprising at least 10 or more drunk drinks, increased between 2016 and 2021, rising from 9% of consumers to 13% respectively.

As a reminder, hallucinogens are illegal in the United States even though some states have legalized mushrooms containing psilocybin.

Regarding recreational marijuana, it has been legalized in 19 US states and in the District of Columbia.

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