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.

Risk Factors for Substance Use by Young People

Risk Factors for Substance Use by Young People: "The risk factors were stronger predictors of substance use outcomes compared to the protective factors, regardless of grade level or substance use type. In particular, the individual and peer risk factors were strongly related to lifetime and recent use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Among the protective factors, the strongest associations with substance use were found in the community domain. Several age-related differences in the associations were also found, suggesting that family and community factors were more salient among younger grades whereas peer and school factors were stronger among older adolescents."

Alcohol and Tobacco Use by Young People as Gateway Factors for Eventual Use of Other Drugs

"• In 2013, the rate of current illicit drug use among youths aged 12 to 17 who smoked cigarettes in the past month was approximately 9 times the rate among youths who did not smoke cigarettes in the past month (53.9 vs. 6.1 percent). Also, the rate of current marijuana use in 2013 among youths aged 12 to 17 who smoked cigarettes in the past month was about 11 times the rate among youths who did not smoke cigarettes (49.5 vs. 4.6 percent).

Cannabis and Adolescent Motivation

Cannabis and Adolescent Motivation: "The apparent strength of these relationships in cross-sectional studies (e.g. Kandel, 1984) has been exaggerated because those adolescents who are most likely to use cannabis have lower academic aspirations and poorer high school performance prior to using cannabis than their peers who do not (Newcombe and Bentler, 1988). It remains possible that factors other than the marijuana use account for apparent causal relations.

Attitudes of Young People Toward Legalization of Marijuana

"• Table 8-8 lists the proportions of 12th graders in 2018 who favor various legal consequences for marijuana use. The proportion who believe it should be entirely legal was 48%, near the record high set the previous year of 49%. As the percentage favoring legality increased, the percentage believing marijuana use should be a crime decreased and in 2018 was 11%, the lowest level recorded by the survey, having fallen from a peak of 53% in 1990.

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