'Heavy' Marijuana Use Up 80 Percent Among Teens
One possible factor for elevated rates of use by teens in California could be marijuana dispensaries, said Steve Pasierb, president of Drugfree.org.
Classic! An article written based on speculation, and guess who sponsored the study? METLIFE! -UA
It’s not just the numbers of teens using marijuana that are increasing, it’s all also the amount they’re using, according to a nationwide survey on The Partnership Drugfree.org.
Findings from the 23rd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) indicate that heavy usage of marijuana by adolescents has risen by about 80 percent in the last four years, following a 10-year decrease that lasted from1998 to 2008, said Steve Pasierb, Drugfree.org’s president, in a statement.
Based on surveys of 3,322 teens in grades 9-12 and 821 parents, the study displays a national trend of more frequent marijuana use. The number of teens reportedly using the illicit drug within the past month is up by 42 percent, according to PATS, while use within the past year is up by 26 percent.
Increased use is elevated slightly more among boys and minorities, with half of Hispanic teens admitting to using marijuana within the past year, compared to 40 percent of African Americans and 35 percent of Caucasians.
Overall, 10 percent of teenagers across the country said they had smoked around 20 times within the last month, putting the total figure of heavy teen users at 1.5 million.
"Ninety percent of all adult addicts started drug use in their teen years,".Pasierb said in a statement, emphasizing the danger of marijuana as a gateway to more dangerous substances and the important role parents play in teen drug prevention.
"Kids who learn at home (of the dangers of drug use) are half as likely to use," he said in a statement.
He warned parents not to tolerate what many consider to be a safer alternative to street drugs like crystal meth and heroin, or pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin, the use of which has been likened to an epidemic in the past. Abuse of OxyContin and other pain prescriptions such as Vicodin, however, stayed at 10 percent based on the PATS’s data.
While the survey was conducted nationally, Pasierb said that medical marijuana dispensaries could be a possible factor for elevated rates of use by teens in California, and that before selling to patients dispensaries should “make certain there is a medical reason.”
Medical marijuana patients in California are required to see a physician for an evaluation and to get a prescription prior to visiting a dispensary.
PATS was sponsored by MetLife Foundation and has a plus or minus 3-3.4 percent margin of error.
Teen Marijuana Use On The Rise?
American media at its finest....tell us marijuana is the bad drug, and back it up with ZERO scientific data, but treat the 10% steady oxy addiction rate like its an afterthought. The days of drugfree.org, and private intrest groups like Metlife are starting to look more and more absurd to the people most affected by their rhetoric. -UANew studies from The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation released this week show an increase of marijuana use in today’s teens. Sponsored by the MetLife foundation, The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study shows that more than 1.5 million US teens have smoked weed at least 20 times in the past month.
This puts teenage marijuana use up by almost 80% since 2008. This increase marks a three-year trend of teen smoking habits. According to the study, the last time such a significant increase had been noted was in 1998 when past-month use was at 27%.
“These findings are deeply disturbing as the increases we’re seeing in heavy, regular marijuana use among high school students can spell real trouble for these teens later on,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in a statement.
“Heavy use of marijuana — particularly beginning in adolescence — brings the risk of serious problems and our data show it is linked to involvement with alcohol and other drugs as well. Kids who begin using drugs or alcohol as teenagers are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders when compared to those who start using after the teenage years.”
The study suggests part of the reason for this increased marijuana use is how “normal” smoking weed has become to today’s teenagers. Only 26% of the teens questioned in the study said marijuana use wasn’t prevalent in their schools. Alternatively, a large majority of teens (71%) said they have friends who use marijuana regularly.
Not only are these teens viewing marijuana use as “normalized behavior,” Pasierb also says parents aren’t taking the issue seriously enough.
“Parents are talking about cocaine and heroin, things that scare them,” said Pasierb. “Parents are not talking about prescription drugs and marijuana. They can’t wink and nod. They need to be stressing the message that this behavior is unhealthy.”
This attitude from the parents may be rubbing off on teenagers.
Professor Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the nationwide Monitoring the Future study says teens aren’t associating any risks to marijuana usage.
“We have also seen a considerable decline over the past five years in the proportion of teens seeing great risk associated with marijuana use,” said Johnston.
“The latest findings showing an increase in marijuana use among teens is unsettling and should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in a position to prevent unhealthy behavior,” said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation.
“While it may be difficult to clearly understand just how dangerous marijuana use can be for teens, it is imperative that we all pay attention to the warning signs and intervene anyway we can. Early intervention is critical to helping prevent teens from drug abuse and addiction.”
The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study also found the number of teens abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications to be “unacceptably high,” though there wasn’t a significant increase similar to marijuana use. Teen abuse of drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin have remained at 10%.