A new study revealed that high school seniors smoke more marijuana than tobacco.
However, this is not a result of increasing marijuana consume, but of the decreasing popularity of tobacco. While 6 percent of high school seniors reported to smoke marijuana daily in 2015, just like in 2014, unlike ever before, the rates dropped for daily tobacco users from 6.7 percent last year to 5.5 percent this year.
The difference is even higher among college students, with 6 percent smoking their daily joint, compared to only 5 percent smoking the good old tobacco.
Dr Wilson Compton, director at NIDA (The National Institute on Drug Abuse) is worried that even if marijuana use hasn’t increased, the perceived risk of marijuana is decreasing more and more. Compton suggests that might lead to an increase during the future years.
Dr. Scott Krakower, chief of psychiatry at New York’s Zucker Hillside Hospital has the same opinion. He claims that among the factors which lead young people to think that marijuana is not harmful is the increasing of the states which legalize it for both therapeutic and recreational use. Krakower is positive that in the following years, marijuana use will increase more and more.
According to Krakower, marijuana can be harmful especially for teenagers, causing thinking and memory problems and leading to a lower IQ. He claims that even parents start seeing it as less harmful, which is why once it becomes legalized, marijuana needs to be regulated.
However, Compton is enthusiast about the trends of drug use among teens, arguing that the rates of those who use prescription painkillers have dropped and the cigarette use is the lowest of all times. On the other side, other forms of tobacco are developing and youths are among the first anxious to try them. For example, the use of e-cigarettes increased since the last year.
The use of illegal drugs besides marijuana is also dropping among highschoolers. More than 38 percent of the seniors reported that they used an illegal drug during the last year and among them 15 percent said that they used another illegal drug besides marijuana.
Decrease in heroin use has also got to an all-time record, with only 0.3 percent of users among eight-graders and 0.5 percent users in the last two years of high school.
Ecstasy and LSD consume have also decreased among high school seniors, from 5 percent in 2014 to 4 percent in 2015.
Image source: freeimages.com