Adolescents

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.

Young People in the US Report Declining Availability of Marijuana

"Marijuana has been the most consistently available illicit drug and has shown only small variations over the years (see Figure 9-5a). What is most noteworthy is how little change has occurred in the proportion of 12th graders who say that marijuana is fairly or very easy to get. By this measure, marijuana has been readily available to the great majority of American 12th graders (from 80% to 90%) since 1975.

Marijuana Use Prevalence and Trends Among Youth in the US

"• Marijuana is by far the most widely used illicit drug. Nearly half of all 12th graders (45%), nearly one third of 10th graders (31%), and over one in seven 8th graders (14%) reported some marijuana use in their lifetime. Among 12th graders, 37% reported some use in the past year, and 23% reported some use in the past month. Among 10th graders, the corresponding percentages were 26% and 16%, respectively, and among 8th grade students, 10% and 5.5%.

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).

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.

Trends in Attitudes of US 12th Graders Toward Legalization of Any Illegal Drugs

"• In 2018 for the first time in the history of the survey the majority of 12th grade students did not favor legally prohibiting marijuana use in public places. The proportion of 12th graders who favor legally prohibiting marijuana use in public places decreased by 2 percentage points to 48% in 2018, continuing a long decline since 2008, when 70% favored prohibition. The percentage favoring legal prohibitions against use in private was also at a historic low of 22% in 2018, down from 82% in 1990.

Prevalence of Inhalant Use Among US Youth

"Inhalants rank second among the illicit drugs in lifetime prevalence for 8th graders (8.9%) and third for 10th graders (6.1%); but they rank seventh for 12th graders (4.9%). Inhalants also rank second-highest in 30-day prevalence among the illicit drugs for 8th (2.1%) and third (1.1%) among 10th graders, but they rank much lower for 12th graders (0.8%). Note that the youngest respondents report the highest levels of use; this is the only class of drugs for which current use declines with age during adolescence.3"

Cognitive Deficit Among Adolescent-Onset Marijuana Users

(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."

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