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 and Educational Attainment

(Marijuana Use and Educational Attainment) “Teen marijuana users are approximately twice as likely as non-users to drop out of high school.234 One study found that, compared to students who did not use marijuana at all in the past year, those who used marijuana less than weekly were 2.6 times as likely to be school dropouts (5.8 percent vs. 2.2 percent) and those who used marijuana at least weekly were 5.8 times as likely to be school dropouts (12.8 percent vs.

Depression and Marijuana Use

(Depression and Marijuana Use) “High school students in CASA’s survey who report having ever used marijuana are more likely than students who never used marijuana to report that they feel alone or isolated (26.7 percent vs. 19.9 percent), that they often feel very sad or depressed (27.9 percent vs. 14.0 percent) and that they think they will develop depression during their lifetime (41.0 percent vs. 25.4 percent).7

Delay in Onset of Substance Use

(Delay in Onset of Substance Use) “Each year that the onset of substance use is delayed until the mid-20s - about the time when the human brain is more fully developed10 — the risk of developing a substance use disorder is reduced.11 Among people who used any of these substances before age 18, one in four have a substance disorder, compared with one in 25 who started to smoke, drink or use other drugs at age 21 or later.”12

Cannabis Users Compared With Abstainers

(Cannabis Users Compared With Abstainers) "Interestingly, our results do not confirm our hypothesis of better overall functioning among abstainers. In fact, what our research indicates is that the main difference between COG [cannabis use only group] youth and abstainers [those abstaining from all drugs] is that the former are more socially driven: they are significantly more likely to practice sports, and they have a better relationship with their peers.

Generational Forgetting

(Generational Forgetting) "Another point worth keeping in mind is that there tends to be a continuous flow of new drugs onto the scene and of older ones being rediscovered by young people. Many drugs have made a comeback years after they first fell from popularity, often because knowledge among youth of their adverse consequences faded as generational replacement took place.

Top Concerns Among Adolescents

(Top Concerns Among Adolescents) "Every year teens tell us that tobacco, alcohol and other drugs are the biggest problem facing teens their age. This year, 26 percent of teens surveyed say that alcohol, drugs and tobacco are the most important issue teens face, followed by social pressures [18%] and academic pressures [11%]."