Category recovery

Cannabis use increases in medical marijuana states

An analysis of national survey data indicates that laws legalizing medical marijuana use are associated with increases in illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders among adults. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

Photo of marijuana spilling out of a prescription bottle onto a rolling paper©Shutterstock/William Casey

Comparing overall trends in states with medical marijuana laws to states without these laws, the authors examined data from three NIAAA-supported surveys conducted in 1991-1992, 2001-2002, and 2012-2013. In addition, the definition of cannabis use disorder was based upon the DSM-IV definition of cannabis abuse or dependence in the past 12 months. The authors estimate that an additional 1.1 million adult illicit cannabis users and an additional 500,000 adults with a DSM-IV cannabis disorder may be attributable to medical marijuana law passage. However, investigators also note there could be other contributing factors.

These findings underscore the importance of examining how more permissive state marijuana laws can increase the risk of cannabis-related health consequences. An accompanying commentary on the article by NIDA scientists highlights the potential negative effects of cannabis on mental health.

For a copy of the paper — “U.S. Adult Illicit Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder, and Medical Marijuana Laws: 1991-1992 to 2012-2013”— published in JAMA Psychiatry, Go to http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2619522.

For a commentary on the article — “Medical Marijuana Laws and Cannabis Use: Intersections of Health and Policy”—authored by NIDA’s Wilson Compton, M.D., Nora Volkow, M.D., and Marsha Lopez, Ph.D., go to: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2619521.

For information about marijuana use, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

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Learning from Peers: Prevention Perspectives on College Drinking

April is Alcohol Awareness Month—a time to focus on the prevention, intervention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems across our nation. One place where alcohol has long been a problem is on college campuses.

Although college students drink less today, they still consume alcohol at alarming rates. Roughly 58 percent of college students ages 18 to 22 drink alcohol in any given month.  When compared to others their age, full-time college students are far more likely to binge drink or drink heavily1. To prevent unsafe drinking behaviors and reduce campus drinking even further, states and college communities are using more creative prevention strategies.

This month, SAMHSA is launching the College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives video series to support colleges and universities. It showcases underage drinking prevention strategies on and around college campuses across the nation. SAMHSA created the video series to demonstrate how campuses with even limited resources can tackle this issue by engaging community partners to help create underage drinking prevention programs.

The first videoExternal Web Site Policy in the series, “Lessons Learned at Frostburg State University,” explores actions taken to reduce underage and harmful drinking in that community, and offers educators, parents of college-age youth, and prevention organizations insights into local prevention efforts that made a difference.

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I hope these resources help college and university professionals learn first-hand from peers across the country about prevention strategies that garnered positive results in decreasing college drinking.

Visit www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/townhallmeetings for more underage drinking prevention tips and resources for colleges and universities.

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[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Trends in Perceptions of Risk and Availability of Substance Use among Full-Time College Students. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2418/ShortReport-2418.html.

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Day 1 – Again

Here we go again. Sober 24 hours. Drinking for the past week. Such a slippery slope. My Texas trip was not a good idea. I need to get sober for at least a good amount of time before I even...Read More

College students at increased risk for smoking marijuana

An analysis of national survey data indicates that students attending college are at a significantly higher risk of beginning to use marijuana than those not enrolled in college, underscoring the need for improved prevention efforts. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study found that the increased probability of past-year marijuana use for those enrolled in college versus not enrolled was 51% in 2015, 41% in 2014, and 31% in 2013. Prior to 2013 (between 1977-2012), youth in college who had never used marijuana in high school were 17-22% more likely to use marijuana in the past year than their peers not in college. The researchers examined marijuana use before and after 2013, the first full year after recreational marijuana use was legalized in Colorado and Washington state.

The authors examined survey data from the annual Monitoring the Future study. These findings highlight the importance of developing and implementing marijuana education and prevention programs in a college setting. 

For a copy of the paper — "The Influence of College Attendance on Risk for Marijuana Initiation in the United States: 1977-2015"— published in the American Journal of Public Health, go to: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303745 (PDF, 606KB).

For information about marijuana use, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245. Follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook

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Day 34 – Finally home!

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