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Drug usage trends among high school and college goers

Drug usage trends among high school and college goers

Drug abuse at a young age is known to be a precursor to a lifetime of addiction and health problems. The earlier this habit is tackled, the higher the chances of recovery. Campuses have now become a center for drug use and exchange. Peer pressure, curiosity and managing the growing stress to achieve academically trigger the use of drugs in high school and college goers.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 27.1 million Americans aged 12 or older used an illicit drug. It was observed that the drug abuse was driven by the use of marijuana and prescription drugs. The 2015 statistics was similar to that of 2014 but higher than that of the past years. This increase in marijuana use was seen among adults aged 26 or older and to a lesser extent among young adults aged 18-25 years.

In 2015, approximately 1.8 million adolescents used marijuana. The percentage of marijuana users in this demographic was similar during 2004-2014, i.e., it remained stable. A total of 6.9 million young adults aged 18 to 25 years used marijuana, which was similar to the trend in 2011 and 2014 but higher than that of 2002-2012.

Encouraging trend in teen drug abuse

The 2015 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) revealed an encouraging trend in drug use among teenagers. It observed a decline in the use of a number of substances including cigarettes, alcohol, and synthetic cannabinoids. Despite the ongoing prescription opioid drug epidemic, there was a drop in opioid drug misuse. Heroin use and cigarette smoking continued to abate and was at their lowest since the survey began. There was an increase in eighth and tenth graders who viewed e-cigarettes as harmful.

Marijuana use remained steady despite a decrease in the number of teens who viewed it as harmful. However, the use of e-cigarettes continued to be high among teenagers. Marijuana use continued to exceed daily cigarette use among high school seniors.

Drug use among college students

The 2015 MTF survey also highlighted that 38 percent of college students reported using marijuana. In 2014, the daily use of marijuana had risen to 5.9 percent, but in 2015 it fell back to 4.6 percent. Researchers believe that a decline in the degree of harm associated with the use of marijuana may account for the rise in its use. Apart from this disturbing trend, there is a decline in the use of other drugs among college students.

Llyod Johnston, the 2015 MTF’s principal investigator noted, “It appears that college students, at least, are hearing and heeding the warnings about the very considerable dangers of using narcotic drugs.” In general, the survey revealed that college males were more likely to abuse illicit drugs as compared to females, with the exception of sedatives.

Dealing with addiction

The aforementioned statistics show an encouraging trend in decline in drug use among youngsters. However, the stable use of marijuana and increase in e-cigarettes imply that people need to be alert as far as recognizing addiction in a close family member goes. They should know the signs and reach out for help in case they suspect that a youngster in the family is abusing drugs.

The decision to leave drugs is a crucial one and the first step to recovery is detox. If you want to know about detox centers in Colorado, call the Colorado Detox Helpline to speak to addiction experts who can assist you by suggesting the right treatment after assessing the case. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline 866-730-5807 or chat online to know about drug detox treatment centers in Colorado.


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