Marijuana - Hallucinogen use - binge drinking reach highs 35-50 ages

Mental Health

Mental HealthMental Health | Past-year use of marijuana and hallucinogens, as well as binge drinking rates, for adults between the ages of 35 and 50 reached all-time highs in 2022,...

...according to a report released on Thursday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The report also noted that among 19- to 30-year olds, past-year marijuana and hallucinogen use, as well as marijuana and nicotine vaping, have significantly increased in the past 5 years.

“Substance use is not limited to teens and young adults, and these data help us understand how people use drugs across the lifespan,” NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD, said in a news release. “Understanding these trends is a first step, and it is crucial that research continues to illuminate how substance use and related health impacts may change over time. We want to ensure that people from the earliest to the latest stages in adulthood are equipped with up-to-date knowledge to help inform decisions related to substance use.”

Findings were based on data from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study, an annual survey of substance use behaviors and attitudes of adults between the ages of 19 and 60. The MTF study is funded by NIDA and conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Launched in 1975, the MTF study has surveyed a nationally representative sample of eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students, with follow-up surveys on a subset of participants after high school to track their substance use behaviors through adulthood. Participants tracked after high school are followed every other year through age 30, and then every 5 years thereafter.

Data for the 2022 survey were collected online and via paper surveys from April 2022 to October 2022. Researchers then divided the data collected into 2 age groups: 19- to 30-year-olds and 35- to 50-year olds. The study produced the following findings:

Past-year marijuana use reached its highest levels on record among both the 19-to-30 cohort (44%, up from 35% in 2017) and the 35-to-50 group (28%, up from 17% in 2017).

Past-year vaping was reported by 21% of the 19-to-30 group, up from 12% in 2017, the first year in which the measure was included in the survey. Past-year nicotine vaping for this group, however, nearly doubled, from 14% in 2017 to 24% in 2022.

mental health studiesPast-year use of hallucinogens by 35- to 50-year-olds doubled year-over-year, from 2% in 2021 to 4% in 2022, a historic high.

While past-month, daily, and binge drinking rates have shown a steady downward trend for the 19-to-30 population overall, alcohol use among the 35-to-50 population over the past years has shown a gradual increase.

Past-year use of cigarettes, sedatives, and non-medical use of opioid medications (classified as narcotics other than heroin) declined over a 10-year period for both age groups. Past-year amphetamine use decreased among the younger population, but increased among the elder group over the past decade.

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