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UM study: Young adults using marijuana often, other drugs less

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Marijuana plant

A new study found that young adults are using more marijuana and less of other drugs.

The national study looks at drug use for teens and young adults, and specifically at how drug use has changed over time.

John Schulenberg, a researcher at the University of Michigan and co-author of the Monitoring the Future study, says college students are using marijuana more than previous generations, but most of the marijuana use reported is from non-college students.

“We’re at a point now where one in eight non-college youths are using marijuana on a daily, or near daily, basis,” Schulenberg said.

Schulenberg says he has found that near-daily marijuana use in young adults can lead to cognitive problems and mental health issues.

“So while people’s attitudes about marijuana have certainly changed in the last three or four decades, it can still be harmful in heavy use, especially while youths’ brains are still developing,” he said.

Schulenberg says despite marijuana use increasing, fewer college students are smoking cigarettes.

“They’re less likely to start in middle school, in high school. And their levels compared to non-college youth are just remarkably low,” he said.

College students are also using drugs like opioids and ecstasy less often than in previous decades, according to the study.

However, Schulenberg warns there’s no way of telling whether marijuana use has replaced other drugs or not.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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