Use of Pot, Hallucinogens Soaring Among Young Americans

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Marijuana and hallucinogen use are at an all-time high among young adults, according to new a new report from U.S. health officials.

Compared to five or 10 years ago, the use of these drugs over the past year has risen significantly among 19- to 30-year-olds, according to the Monitoring the Future panel study. The new data were collected through online surveys between April and October of 2021.

The study also showed vaping has begun to increase among young adults after leveling off in 2020 and dipping during the pandemic.

While alcohol use has dropped, it remains the most used substance, researchers found. Last year, binge drinking rebounded from a historic low in 2020. High-intensity drinking (having 10 or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) has been on the rise over the last 10 years, reaching its highest level in 2021.

Last year, 43% of young adults reported using pot, up from 34% in 2016 and 29% in 2011, the study found.

In 2021, nicotine vaping nearly tripled to 16%, compared with 6% in 2017, the study showed. Marijuana vaping, which had dropped in 2020, doubled — from 6% in 2017 to 12% last year.

Drinking, on the whole, has been down in this age group over the past decade. In 2021, 66% of young adults said they had used alcohol in the past month, compared to 70% in 2016 and 69% in 2011.

Binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) also returned to pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, 32% of young adults reported binge drinking, compared with 28% in 2020 and 32% in 2019.

And high-intensity drinking reached its highest level (13%) since 2005, when it stood at 11%, researchers reported.

The use of hallucinogens such as LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, mushrooms, and PCP also rose last year after being stable until 2020. In 2021, 8% of young adults said they had used a hallucinogen in the past year, a record high. In 2016, 5% reported doing so, and in 2011, 3% said they had used one.

Researchers also found significant decreases in cigarette smoking and use of opioid medications compared with 10 years ago.

Source: HealthDay

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