American College Students’ Marijuana Use Rising
American college students’ use of Marijuana continues to increase, but the appeal of other drugs, including amphetamines and opioids, could be on the wane, a new study found.
The proportion of college students who reported past-year use of Marijuana rose from 30% in Y 2006 to 38% in Y 2015, according to the study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
Daily or near-daily cannabis use (20 or more times in the previous 30 days) reached nearly 6% in Y 2014, the highest level of daily use in the last 34 years. But it then fell slightly to less than 5% in Y 2015, researchers found.
A possible reason for growing use of Marijuana may be a decrease in perceived risk.
The proportion of young adults ages 19 to 22 who consider regular Marijuana use dangerous fell from 58% in Y 2003 to 33% in Y 2015, according to the report.
“This increase in use and decrease in perceived risk of harm regarding marijuana use should be taken seriously by college administrators, parents and students themselves,” said study co-lead researcher John Schulenberg, a research professor at the institute.
“We know through other research that frequent marijuana use can adversely affect academic performance and college completion,” Schulenberg said in a university news release.
The good news to come out of the study was a decline in college students’ use of other drugs.
Non-medical use of Rx opioid, or narcotic, drugs in the previous year fell from nearly 9% in Y 2006 to around 3% in Y 2015.
Common opioids include Rx painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet and fentanyl.
Use of heroin, another opioid, continues to remain low, staying at or below 0.3% since Y 2005. It was 0.1% in Y 2015.
“It appears that college students, at least, are hearing and heeding the warnings about the very considerable dangers of using narcotic drugs,” said study principal investigator Lloyd Johnston, a senior research scientist and research professor at the institute.
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