Marijuana Smoked More Frequently In College
Smoking cigarettes is down in America’s college students, but smoking marijuana is at its highest level since 1980. About 1 in 17 students are smoking marijuana daily or on a near daily basis. This information comes from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future study.
Principal investigator Lloyd Johnston stated, “It’s clear that for the past 7 or 8 years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students. And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.”
Students Don’t Consider Marijuana As Dangerous Anymore
Along with regular marijuana users, occasional users of marijuana have also increased. From 2006 to 2014, the number of students that said they had used marijuana at least once or more in the last 30 days went from 17% to 21%. In that same time frame, the number that said they had used in the past year went from 30% to 34%.
This may be due to the changing thoughts on the substance. The research shows that marijuana isn’t thought to be as dangerous as people have believed it to be in the past.
Just in 2006, 55% of students that had graduated high school and were between 19 to 22 years old thought regular use of marijuana was dangerous. Only 8 years later in 2014, that number has fallen to only 35% of students in that age range.
Students Smoking Cigarettes And Using Drugs Is Down
The number of students smoking cigarettes has also fallen. Between 2013 and 2014, students who said they had smoked in the last 30 days fell from 14% to 13%. But this figure used to be 31% back in 1999. Only 5% said they smoked daily in 2014, but 19% smoked daily in 1999.
Illicit drugs such as synthetic marijuana, narcotics, sedatives, hallucinogens, and tranquilizers also seem to be getting used less frequently than before. Johnston thinks that this study shows there is some room for positivity.
“There is some more welcome news for parents as they send their children off to college this fall. Perhaps the most important is that 5 out of every 10 college students have not used any illicit drug in the past year, and more than three-quarters have not used any in the prior month.”
The study also looked at the amount of drug use there was with college students compared with their peers that were not in college. What they discovered was that in 2014 illicit drug use was lower among those in college compared to those that weren’t.
College Students Still Drinking Heavy
Two exceptions to that was the consumption of alcohol and the use of amphetamines. For instance, amphetamine use has stayed roughly the same at 10% among college students in 2014. However, out of those in that age group that weren’t in college, only 9% of them used amphetamines.
Johnston states, “It seems likely that this increase in amphetamine use on the college campus resulted from more students using these drugs to try to improve their studies and test performance.”
College students were also more inclined to be heavy drinkers than their noncollege peers. This is defined as having 5 or more drinks in a row within the last 2 weeks. Of those in college, 35% of them reported to be heavy drinkers, whereas only 29% of those not in college were heavy drinkers.
Furthermore, 43% of those in college stated they had been drunk within the last 30 days, where only 34% of those not in college had stated that they had been drunk in the last 30 days.
Johnston stated, “Despite the modest improvements in drinking alcohol at college, there are still a sizable number of students who consume alcohol at particularly dangerous levels.”
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