Skip to main content

Record Use of Marijuana and Hallucinogens in Young Adults

Aug 24, 2022 4:20 pm

The NY Times reports that a recent survey of drug use indicates that daily consumption of marijuana among young adults nearly doubled in the last decade. This is coupled with growing mainstream acceptance of cannabis and hallucinogenic compounds.

A national survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health since 1988, assesses the use of recreational drug by young Americans. The online survey of people between 19 to 60 yrs was conducted from April to October 2021.

The current report says that among those ages 19 to 30, marijuana and hallucinogen use reached an all-time record last year.

This federal annual survey also shows growing use of nicotine vaping and excessive alcohol consumption in 2021. New on this list is an increasing consumption of alcoholic beverages containing THC.

While cigarette smoking and opioid abuse among young adults dropped in last year, nicotine vaping continues to rise in young people, tripled from 6% in 2017 to 16% in 2021.

The survey found that 43% in the 19-30 age group had used cannabis 20 or more times over the previous year, up from 34% the year before and 29% in 2011. Daily marijuana consumption also doubled (6% to 11% since 2011).  Increased marijuana use was also seen in those 35 to 50 yrs of age.

While hallucinogens use has been stable for decades. Psychedelic use was 3% in 2011, but jumpted to 8% in 2021. Behavioral scientists and psychiatrists point to increasing use of ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms and ecstasy.

Postulated reasons for this surge in drug use includes the COVID-19 the pandemic; easier access to legalized marijuana, the use of psychedelics to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems. 

Might this mixed picture of substance use in young Americans may have adverse mental health effects downstream?


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Add new comment

If you are a health practitioner, you may to comment.

Due to the nature of these comment forums, only health practitioners are allowed to comment at this time.