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Adolescent drug use before and during U.S. national COVID-19 social distancing policies

6/21/21--A study designed to examine how adolescent substance use and perceived availability of substances have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic has concluded that perceived availability of marijuana, alcohol, and vaping devices declined at historic rates during the pandemic of 2020. Lack of accompanying reductions in prevalence for marijuana and binge drinking demonstrates the substantial challenges facing a supply-side approach to the reduction of adolescent use of these substances. Read

Latest wastewater data reveal drug-taking habits in a record 82 European cities

5/19/21--The 2020 findings from the largest European project in the science of wastewater analysis are revealed today in Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study, published by the Europe-wide SCORE group, in association with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). The project analyzed wastewater in 82 European cities (18 countries) to explore the drug-taking behaviors of their inhabitants. While the 2019 results pointed to an overall rise in the detection of stimulants, the 2020 findings are more mixed, with diverse geographical and temporal patterns seen across the study locations. Read

Adolescents’ substance use and physical activity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

5/3/21--In this cohort study of tobacco use behaviors among ninth- and tenth-grade students enrolled at 8 public high schools in Northern California from March 2019 to February 2020 and followed up from September 2019 to September 2020, a reduction in e-cigarette use occurred independently of COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions, but persistent cannabis and alcohol use suggest continued need for youth substance use prevention and cessation support. Read

Understanding risk factors for persistent opioid use among youths

4/22/21--Growing evidence indicates that youths exposed to opioids for legitimate medical purposes have an increased risk of opioid use disorders in the future. According to a study, adolescents and young adults are especially susceptible to negative consequences of opioid misuse because of their ongoing biological, social, and psychological development. Read

Trajectories of opioid use following first opioid prescription in opioid-naive youths and young adults

4/22/21--Results of a study examining distinct patterns of opioid prescribing following the first prescription using group-based trajectory modeling and examine the patient-, clinician-, and prescription-level factors that may be associated with trajectory membership during the first year indicate 2 trajectories associated with elevated risk for persistent opioid receipt within 12 months following first opioid prescription. The high-risk trajectory was characterized by older age at time of first prescription, and longer and more potent first prescriptions. Read

Comparison of water pipes vs other modes of cannabis consumption and subsequent illicit drug use in longitudinal cohort of young Swiss men

4/6/21--In this longitudinal cohort study of 1108 men, both unadjusted and adjusted models showed that consumption of cannabis with a water pipe at baseline was associated with the use of other illicit drugs at follow-up compared with not using a water pipe. Read

Trends in youth cannabis use across cannabis legalization: Data from the COMPASS prospective cohort study

3/17/21--According to this study, recreational cannabis legalization has not been followed by the slowing or reversing of concerning trends in youth cannabis use, suggesting that, so far, the Cannabis Act has not yet led to the benefits for youth envisioned in adopting a public health approach to legalization. Further monitoring will be essential in characterizing its longer-term effects as well as to track impacts of additional regulatory changes. Read

Trends in cannabis use among adults with children in the home in the United States, 2004-2017

3/17/21--According to this study, among adults with children living in the home, cannabis use appears to be more common in US states with legalized cannabis use compared with states with no legal cannabis use. Recreational legalization appears to increase use among adults with children in the home broadly across nearly all sociodemographic groups, whereas the effect of legalization for medical use is heterogeneous by age and socioeconomic status. Read

Teens may be more likely to use marijuana after legalization for adult recreational use

2/15/21--Adolescents who live in California may be more likely to use marijuana since adult recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2016, according to a new report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers who conducted the study suggest that recreational marijuana legalization may present increased opportunities for adolescents to obtain marijuana and that the increasing availability of non-smoking products such as edibles may prove appealing as well. Read

Commonwealth Fund survey, 2020

2/10/21--The Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Policy surveys fill important information gaps by polling patients and providers in 11 developed countries. For the first time, the survey included comparable information about behaviors affecting health (use of alcohol, tobacco, electronic vaping devices, cannabis and illicit drugs). Read

Adolescent drug use initiation and transition into other drugs

2/1/2021--According to a retrospective longitudinal examination across race/ethnicity, adolescents’ initial use of marijuana and inhalants may lead to substantial risks of using other drugs over time. It is therefore important to screen adolescent drug use comprehensively and provide early interventions to prevent an escalation to more detrimental drugs. The findings provide new evidence to support aspects of both the gateway and generalized risk drug use theories. Read

Trends in cannabis view and use among American adults: Intersections with alcohol consumption, 2002-2018

1/30/21--This study aims to examine trends in cannabis views and use among US adults who are alcohol abstainers, non-binge drinkers, and binge drinkers. Findings indicate that cannabis disapproval has decreased and cannabis use increased among alcohol abstainers, non-binge drinkers, and binge drinkers between 2002 and 2018. The impact of cannabis disapproval on use attenuated during the study period among drinkers but not among abstainers, suggesting that the effect of anti-cannabis attitudes may be weakening among those most likely to use cannabis. Read

Examining associations between licensed and unlicensed outlet density and cannabis outcomes from preopening to postopening of recreational cannabis outlets

1/29/21--This study expands beyond studies of outlet prevalence to find that, after controlling for outcomes 1 year prior, licensed and unlicensed outlets were associated with young adults' cannabis outcomes. The current study is among the first to find associations between cannabis use outcomes and density of cannabis outlets among young adults using data from two time points: preopening and postopening of recreational cannabis retailers. Read

Drink and drug risk is lower among optimistic pupils with ‘happy’ memories

1/25/21--According to research published in the peer-reviewed journal Addiction Research & Theory, teenagers with happy childhood memories are likely to drink less, take fewer drugs and enjoy learning. The findings, based on data from nearly 2,000 US high school students, show a link between how pupils feel about the past, present and future and their classroom behavior. This in turn influences their grades and risk of substance misuse. Read

Young-adult compared to adolescent onset of regular cannabis use: A 20-year prospective cohort study of later consequences

1/26/21--This paper compares consequences of cannabis use initiated after high school with those of cannabis initiation in adolescence, with estimates of the proportion of adverse consequences accounted for by adult-onset and adolescent-onset cannabis users. Read

Quarterly trends in past-month cannabis use in United States, 2015-2019

2/1/21--Prevalence of cannabis use has been increasing among select subgroups in the US; however, trend analyses typically examine prevalence of use across years. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine whether there is seasonal variation in use. Findings indicate that the prevalence of cannabis use increases throughout the year, independently of annual increases. Read

Examining associations between licensed and unlicensed outlet density and cannabis outcomes from preopening to postopening of recreational cannabis outlets

1/15/21--This study expands beyond studies of outlet prevalence to find that, after controlling for outcomes 1 year prior, licensed and unlicensed outlets were associated with young adults' cannabis outcomes. The current study is among the first to find associations between cannabis use outcomes and density of cannabis outlets among young adults using data from two time points: preopening and postopening of recreational cannabis retailers. Findings can inform policies around the density and placement of cannabis outlets. Read

Solitary use of alcohol and marijuana by US 12th grade students, 1976-2019

12/21/20--This study provides 2018-2019 prevalence estimates of and 1976-2019 trends in solitary alcohol and marijuana use among all 12th grade students and those who used alcohol and marijuana in the past 12 months, separated by sex. Read

College-age kids and teens are drinking less alcohol – marijuana is a different story

11/20/20--It’s good news for health. But there is also a downside in the data: While alcohol use is falling among 18-to-22-year-olds, marijuana use is inching upward. The number of young adults using both alcohol and marijuana is also rising, heightening concerns about a future surge in substance abuse problems, new research shows. Read

Trends in the age of cigarette smoking initiation among young adults in the US from 2002 to 2018

10/6/20--In this repeated cross-sectional study including 71,756 young adults aged 22 to 23 years, the proportion of ever smokers who initiated cigarette smoking in early adulthood more than doubled between 2002 and 2018, and the proportion of daily cigarette smokers who transitioned to daily smoking in early adulthood also increased from 38.7% in 2002 to 55.9% in 2018. Read

Young adults as a tobacco control priority population in the US

10/6/20--This study by Barrington-Trimis et al used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to examine the proportion of young adult cigarette smokers (aged 22-23 years) who initiated smoking in young adulthood from 2002 to 2018. Barrington-Trimis and colleagues found that during this period with population-level declines in cigarette smoking among youth and young adults, the average age of smoking initiation and the proportion of new initiates and daily smokers who were young adults increased. Read

US drug use survey uncovers both promising and concerning trends

10/27/20--According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, among people aged 12 years or older in 2019, 60.1% reported having used a substance during the past month. Yet, the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who reported consuming alcohol in the past month declined from 17.6% in 2002 to 9.4% in 2019. During that period, past-month cigarette use decreased from 26% to 16.7% among people aged 12 years or older. Read

E-cigarette use among teens on the rise in Rhode Island

10/31/20--Rhode Island students in middle and high school reported using e-cigarettes at much higher rates than cigarettes, a youth risk behavior survey by the state Department of Health found. And from 2017 to 2019, the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes in Rhode Island jumped from 20% to 30%, as traditional cigarette use declined. Read

US drug use survey uncovers both promising and concerning trends

10/27/20--Among people aged 12 years or older in 2019, 60.1% reported having used a substance during the past month, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The most commonly reported substance used in the past month was alcohol, consumed by 50.8% of survey respondents, followed by tobacco, used by 21.1%. In addition, 13% used an illicit drug. Read

Study finds older adults using cannabis to treat common health conditions

10/7/20--University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that older adults use cannabis primarily for medical purposes to treat a variety of common health conditions, including pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that of 568 patients surveyed, 15 percent had used cannabis within the past three years, with half of users reporting using it regularly and mostly for medical purposes. Read

Is cannabis being used as a substitute for non-medical opioids by adults with problem substance use in the United States?

10/8/20--According to a prospective cohort study, among US adults with problem substance use who use non‐medical opioids, the odds of opioid use appear to be approximately doubled on days when cannabis is used. This relationship does not appear to differ between people with moderate or more severe pain versus less than moderate pain, suggesting that Cannabis is not being used as a substitute for illegal opioids. Read

Assessment of Changes in Alcohol and Marijuana Abstinence, Co-Use, and Use Disorders Among US Young Adults From 2002 to 2018

10/12/20--The findings of this study suggest that US colleges and communities should create and maintain supportive resources for young adults as the substance use landscape changes, specifically as alcohol abstinence, marijuana use, and co-use increase. Interventions for polysubstance use, alcohol use disorder, and marijuana use disorder may provide valuable opportunities for clinicians to screen for prescription drug misuse. Read

More young adults are abstaining from alcohol

10/12/20--Between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28% for those in college and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school, say researchers at the University of Michigan and Texas State University. And alcohol abuse among both groups decreased by roughly half. Read

Marijuana use among teens at highest level in decades

9/22/20--Marijuana remains the most widely used illicit drug in Maryland, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, with teen use the highest in decades. Health experts cite legalization efforts as one reason for these increases, along with common misperceptions that marijuana is harmless. Read

2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases

9/13/20--NSDUH’s latest annual report focuses on substance use and mental health in the United States based on NSDUH data from 2019 and earlier years. The annual report presents estimates that meet the criteria for statistical precision and facilitate stable examination of trends over time to study changes in society and emerging issues. Read

Does how you use matter? The link between mode of use and cannabis-related risk

9/1/20--With the recent legalization of cannabis there are more cannabis products available to consumers today than ever before. However, little is known about the relation of distinct modes of use to cannabis-related risks. The current study estimated the prevalence of different modes of use among a sample of university students, and quantified the magnitude of association between modes of use (type and number) and cannabis-related risks. Read

CDPHE releases latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data

8/3/20--Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released the latest statewide and regional results from the bi-annual statewide Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), the state’s only comprehensive survey on the health and well-being of young people, in middle school and high school. Read

Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data tables and reports

8/3/20--The purpose of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is to better understand youth health and what factors support youth to make healthy choices. The survey, conducted every two years, is supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, and an advisory group of state and local stakeholders. Read

Characteristics of marijuana use during pregnancy — Eight states, pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system, 2017

8/14/20--Continuous surveillance of marijuana use in the perinatal period can inform clinical guidance, provider and patient education, and public health programs to support evidence-based approaches to addressing substance use. Yet, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend refraining from marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation because evidence on safety and health effects are inconclusive or insufficient. Read

United Kingdom drug situation 2019: summary

8/7/20--The overall prevalence of drug use reported in the UK has remained relatively stable throughout the last decade. However, the most recent surveys covering England and Wales, and Scotland reported the highest prevalence of drug use in the past 10 years. From the most recent surveys, the prevalence of any drug use in the last year was 9.4% in England and Wales, 12% in Scotland, and 5.9% in Northern Ireland. Read

Marijuana Legalization and Youth Marijuana, Alcohol, and Cigarette Use and Norms

7/9/20--This study tests whether nonmedical marijuana legalization predicts a higher likelihood of teen marijuana, alcohol, or cigarette use or lower perceived harm from marijuana use in a longitudinal sample of youth aged 10–20 years. Results indicated that it is important to consider recent broad declines in youth substance use when evaluating the impact of nonmedical marijuana legalization. Furthermore, states that legalize nonmedical marijuana for adults should increase resources for the prevention of underage marijuana and alcohol use. Read

Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says

7/20/20--The legalization of marijuana for Washington state adults may be thwarting a steady downward trend in teen marijuana use, according to new research from the University of Washington. The longitudinal study of more than 230 teens and young adults finds that teens may be more likely to use marijuana following legalization — with the proliferation of stores and increasing adult use of the drug — than they otherwise would have been. Read

Cannabis use among US adults with anxiety from 2008 to 2017: The role of state-level cannabis legalization

9/1/20--According to study results, cannabis use is increasing among American adults overall, yet is disproportionately common among Americans with anxiety especially among those residing in states where cannabis has been legalized. Read

Ancient people in the Kingdom of Judah may have gotten high off weed

5/30/20--More than 2,700 years ago, worshipers at a "holy of holies" shrine in Israel may have gotten high on weed. Researchers discovered burnt cannabis and frankincense at the site, which was located in the Kingdom of Judah. Read

Minimum legal age for cannabis use should be 19, study suggests

5/13/20--A team of researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, investigated how Canadians who started using cannabis at several young ages differed across important outcomes (educational attainment, cigarette smoking, self-reported general and mental health) in later-life. According to this new study, the optimal minimum legal age for non-medical cannabis use is 19 years of age. Read

Intensity of cannabis use: Findings from three online surveys

5/1/20--Respondents who reported using cannabis daily (i.e., 30 days in the past month) consumed almost twice as much per day of use on average as did those reporting less than daily. The study finds only modest increases in intensity among those using less than daily, but then a substantial increase (p< 0.001) for those who use daily. Read

Trends in marijuana vaping and edible consumption from 2015 to 2018 among adolescents in the United States

4/6/20--There is growing evidence associating adolescent marijuana use with developmental and societal consequences. Prevalence and trends from 2015 to 2018 in noncombustible marijuana use and differences by use frequency and sociodemographic characteristics have been documented. Vaping has increased rapidly among adolescents, and Regional data suggest boys vape more than girls, but there are conflicting reports of sex differences in edible use, and differences across modes of use for race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). Read

Michigan is smoking more marijuana than any other state during coronavirus pandemic, survey says

3/23/20--According to a Twitter survey, Michigan residents are smoking marijuana more than any other state during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Analysts used trends software with direct access to geotagged twitter data to arrive at the conclusion. Overall, the southern half of the U.S. has the most activity when it comes to smoking marijuana, with the exception of Michigan, which was the number one state overall. Read

Texas among top states using marijuana during Coronavirus outbreak according to Twitter data

3/25/20--According to geotagged Twitter data gathered this month, it appears more Texans are using marijuana than people in most states during the coronavirus pandemic. The map featured in this article is based on data since March 1, tracking tweets and hashtags about using marijuana, including phrases such as “smoke weed,” “get high,” and all related slang terms. Read

Cannabis sales, deliveries explode as Californians stock up on pot amid coronavirus

3/24/20--Cannabis sales and marijuana deliveries are exploding as Californians stock up on pot amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marijuana dispensaries are allowed to stay open during the coronvirus pandemic because they are considered an "essential" service. Read

‘Dabbing’ concentrated THC is troubling new trend among teens

2/14/20--NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez joins TODAY to inform parents about a much more potent way to use marijuana called “dabbing” that is getting more popular among teens.  Read

Sierra Middle School parent wants teens caught with marijuana to face consequences

2/3/20--Four Las Cruces teens caught with marijuana at Sierra Middle School on Friday, Jan. 31, are now facing the consequences. John Rivera, a parent of a Sierra Middle School student, said they need to face the consequences to set an example for all the other kids so they know it’s not OK, and hopefully they learn a lesson and don’t do it again. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Association between recreational marijuana legalization in the United States and changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder from 2008 to 2016

11/13/19--Findings in a multilevel, difference-in-difference survey study with 505 796 respondents comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, revealed that the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%. Read

Marijuana use among pregnant women continues to rise

11/5/19--Marijuana use by pregnant women appears to be on the rise. According to new data, more women are using cannabis while pregnant. A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association says that marijuana is now the most commonly used illicit drug among pregnant women in the U.S. Data collected from 276,000 pregnant women in a Northern California study found that cannabis use nearly doubled from 2009 to 2017. Read

A national survey of marijuana use among US adults with medical conditions, 2016-2017

9/20/19--This survey study using data from 169,036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes. Read

High-schoolers’ pot use fell in the decade before legalization. Will that continue?

9/16/19--Fewer Massachusetts high school students used marijuana in the years before the state’s first marijuana stores opened last year, according to a new report. However, it’s too early to know whether these trends have changed since legalization. But officials said the report, by the state Cannabis Control Commission, establishes a baseline for future study. Read

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually

8/20/19--Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report. Read

The impact of recreational marijuana legalization on rates of use and behavior: A 10-year comparison of two cohorts from high school to young adulthood.

8/19/19--A study was conducted focusing on understanding the risk and protective factors related to substance use from adolescence to young adulthood. Overall, results suggest that young adults after recreational marijuana legalization are more likely to use marijuana than young adults were before recreational marijuana legalization 10 years earlier. Read

Maternal marijuana exposure and birth weight: An observational study surrounding recreational marijuana legalization

8/23/19--A study to examine the relationship between prenatal marijuana and infant birth weight using natural cohorts established before, during and after the 20-month lapse between legalization and legal recreational sales in Washington State revealed marijuana exposure verified by UDS was associated with LBW and SGA. However, recreational marijuana legalization and availability did not have direct impact on newborns' risk of LBW or SGA. Read

A whiff of the music festival future? Outside Lands sells cannabis for the first time

8/12/19--Outside Lands, the largest event in California, and the country, is the first to allow legal sales and consumption of cannabis. It is a preview of what may eventually become commonplace for other big gatherings such as Southern California’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (though no such permit has yet been requested) as marijuana rules solidify. Read

Four takeaways from National Drug Use and Health Survey on marijuana use

8/5/19--As more states introduce medicinal and adult-use marijuana legislation, robust and reliable data helps to improve the understanding of the impact legalization has on use and public health. However, even though there are limitations on what can be inferred, there are clear upward trends in the usage of marijuana and a steady decrease in the perception of risk from smoking once a month across the country. These outcomes are important for policymakers to consider when determining their position on legalizing forms of marijuana. Read

Teen marijuana use drops amid legalization

7/12/19--Legalizing recreational marijuana has lead to a decrease in teen use in many states, according to a study published this week that contradicts previous research of how legalization affects teen pot use. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that recreational marijuana laws were associated with an 8% decrease in teen pot use, and a 9% decrease in frequent use. Read