According to a report released by the National Institutes of Health on Monday (August 22), the amount of marijuana and hallucinogens such as LSD and magic mushrooms used by young adults in the United States hit an all-time high in 2021.
The use of these type of drugs by adults aged 19 to 30 years old has significantly increased over the past year compared to five and ten years ago, with marijuana use reaching its highest level in this age group since these trends were first monitored.
This is according to the most recent Monitoring the Future study, which has been carried out by researchers at the University of Michigan and supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1975. People between the ages of 19 and 30 were polled.
43% of young adults reported using marijuana in 2021, up from 34% in 2016 and 29% in 2011. In addition to that, daily cannabis use was reported by 11% of young individuals, up from 8% in 2016 and 6% in 2011.
An all-time high since the category was first assessed in 1988, 8% of young adults reported using hallucinogens in the past year, up from 5% in 2016 and 3% in 2011.
Participants reported using LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, “magic” mushrooms or psilocybin, PCP, and mescaline as hallucinogens, according to the press release.
“As the drug landscape shifts over time, this data provides a window into the substances and patterns of use favored by young adults,” explained Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“Young adults are in a critical life stage and honing their ability to make informed choices. Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success.”
“One of the best ways we can learn more about drug use and its impact on people is to observe which drugs are appearing, in which populations, for how long, and under which contexts,” said principal investigator of the study Megan Patrick, a research professor at the University of Michigan.
“Monitoring the Future and similar large-scale surveys on a consistent sample population allow us to assess the effects of ‘natural experiments’ like the pandemic. We can examine how and why drugs are used and highlight critical areas to guide where the research should go next and to inform public health interventions.”
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