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.

Marijuana Use vs. Tobacco Use

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)."

Marijuana Use by Peers and Perception of Harm

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."

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.

Early Use of Marijuana

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:

Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs by Young People

"Teen users are at significantly higher risk of developing an addictive disorder compared to adults, and the earlier they began using, the higher their risk. Nine out of 10 people who meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorders involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began smoking, drinking or using other drugs before they turned 18. People who begin using any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to develop a substance use disorder as those who delay use until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent)."

Addiction and Adolescent Brain Development

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

Early Initiation of Substance Use

Early Initiation of Substance Use: “When initiation of substance use occurs in preadolescence or early in adolescence, the risk of addiction is magnified.8 CASA’s analysis of national data finds that individuals‡ who first used any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times as likely to have a substance use disorder as those who did not use any addictive substance until age 21 or older (28.1 percent vs. 4.3 percent).”

Juvenile Injustice: Children In The Criminal Justice System

"Too many children—particularly children in poverty; children of color; children with disabilities; children with mental health and substance abuse challenges; children subjected to neglect, abuse and/or other violence; children in foster care and LGBTQ children—are pushed out of their schools and homes into the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice systems. While the number of children arrested and incarcerated has declined over the past decade largely due to positive changes in policy and practice, America’s children continue to be criminalized at alarming rates.

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