Marijuana is fast becoming the common drug of choice in the United States, partly because of the impression that the drug has medicinal effects. Most people in the country are unaware of its potential psychotropic impact or its possible pulmonary and cardiovascular effects. One of the major reasons for widespread recreational use of the drug is the intent to experience a “high.”
A recent research has suggested that first-time marijuana use in college has reached the highest in the past three decades. The study, titled “The Influence of College Attendance on Risk for Marijuana Initiation in the United States: 1977 to 2015,” revealed that in 2015 alone, an estimated 20 percent American college students had tried smoking marijuana for the first time.
The researchers of the study, published in the journal American Journal of Public Health in April 2017, tried to evaluate a possible rise in first-time marijuana use among American college students compared to those in their age group who did not attend college. The researchers examined details from the Monitoring the Future study that has been looking at substance abuse trend among the young adults since 1976. The researchers evaluated respondents aged 19-22 years from 1977 to 2015.
The researchers observed that the rise of first-time marijuana use among young adults has been mostly among college students while the same kind of behavior was not noted among those belonging to the same age group who did not attend college. The observations indicated how the extent of first-time marijuana use had gone up by 51 percent in 2015 compared with 41 percent in 2014, 31 percent in 2013 and 20 percent between 1977 and 2012. Elucidating the findings, lead author of the study Richard Miech said, “There has been a sea change in attitudes toward marijuana use.”
Explaining highs and lows of marijuana use
The fact that most Americans have no qualms about using marijuana raises the fear that the casual use of the drug by college students may become a habit. There is also a possibility that changing attitude toward marijuana may spurt marijuana use despite government agencies pushing guidelines advising people not to use any kind of illicit drug. Miech added, “College students are less likely than older adults and non-college students to have entered the social roles of spouse, parent and employee, all of which reduce marijuana use. Many factors unique to college also promote substance use, such as lack of parental supervision, plenty of free time and a party culture.”
College life is synonymous with fun and frivolity, which, in turn, results in high rate of drug abuse in colleges across the nation. The first few months in college may be marked with anxiety about having to step into a new way of life coupled with the pressure of education, rising debt due to high tuition fees along with the fear of future. This results in college students being increasingly vulnerable to drug addiction and abuse of addictive substances.
Road to recovery
Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego provides comprehensive and holistic treatment for teens dealing with addiction problems, including teen marijuana use, mental health problems or comorbidity of both the diseases. If you come across instances of marijuana abuse in teens in your family or among your loved ones, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat with our online representatives for expert advice. Addiction to various substances can derail the life, however, timely intervention can prevent things from going out of hand. One must not shy away from treatment due to associated stigma and discrimination.