daily marijuana use in college students doubled

College student’s daily marijuana use highest since 1980

Marijuana use among college students has reached a historic high, according to the latest Monitoring the Future study published in July.

College student’s daily marijuana rose from 3.5% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2014. That means 1 in every 17 college students is smoking marijuana on a daily basis. This is the highest rate observed since 1980, the year when surveying for college students began.

The MTF study, conducted at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, is made up of a series of national surveys of college students and high school graduates.

The study notes that the increase may be because fewer adolescents and young adults are viewing marijuana as dangerous. In 2006, 55 % of 19-to-22-year-old high school graduates saw regular marijuana use as dangerous. However, only 35 % saw it as dangerous in 2014.

Also, for the first time, daily marijuana use was more popular than daily cigarette use among college students.

The study also found an increase in college students’ use of other substances including: amphetamines like Adderall, ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol (specifically heavy drinking). This has led to more college students using illegal drugs. In 2008, 15 % of students reported using an illicit drug. That number rose to 21 % in 2014.

The good news is that many drugs have been fading in popularity on college campuses in recent years. These include synthetic marijuana, narcotic drugs (other than heroin), sedatives, tranquilizers, inhalants, hallucinogen and bath salts.

Overall, five out of every 10 college students say they haven’t used any illicit drug in the past year.

Key Findings:

  • Daily marijuana use continues to grow, reaching the highest level seen in the past 35 years in 2014 (5.9%). Daily use is defined as use 20 or more times in the previous 30 days.
  • Amphetamine (Adderall or Ritalin) use for nonmedical reasons among college students rose from 5.7 % in 2008 to 10.1% in 2014. It seems likely that an increased interest in using these drugs to improve academic performance contributed to this change
  • The use of ecstasy by college students rose from 2.2% in 2007 to 5.0% in 2014
  • Over recent years, cocaine use among college students declined to levels below those in the 1990s but showed an significant increase to 4.4 % in 2014
  • Synthetic marijuana use decreased among college students from 7.4 % in 2011 to 0.9 % in 2014
  • College students have shown the highest levels of heavy drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) since they were first measured in the 1980 surveys
  • Daily cigarette smoking among college students has decreased dramatically from 19 % in 1999 to 5% in 2014.

Marijuana use is currently illegal in Texas. Even in states where it is legal, it is illegal for those under 21. To help prevent adolescent substance abuse in East Texas,
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