Students of higher education are definitely ‘higher’, according to a research conducted by the University of Michigan, as U.S. college students are smoking marijuana even more than cigarettes.
Interviews showed that daily use of pot among college students has definitely gone up from 3.5 percent in 2007 to nearly 6 percent in 2014. Good news is that the numbers haven’t surpassed yet the 7.2 percent record of 1980, as reported by the Monitoring the Future study.
Lloyd Johnston, the leading investigator of the study, explained that the spike registered over the past seven to eight years is clear, and it was mirrored by an increase in marijuana usage among high school seniors as well. Illicit drug use also saw a significant uptick from 34 percent in 2006 to 41 percent in 2014, which marijuana use is mostly responsible for.
Monitoring the Future is a study conducted by federal health officials and used to compile statistics on youth substance abuse. Ever since 1980, 1250 full-time college students are interviewed annually on average, which makes the results that much more concerning.
However, the survey revealed a considerable decrease in daily consumption of alcoholic beverages, which went down from 82 percent of college students in 1981 to 63 percent. At the same time, in spite of the clear decline in cigarette smoking, tobacco and nicotine are now administered in different forms.
But it was definitely good news to report that only 5 percent of respondents self-identified as heavy smokers, a vast improvement from the 1999 statistics, when 19 percent of students admitted to sustaining a daily habit of smoking cigarettes.
Another highlight of the study was the fact that roughly half of the college students reported to have not used any illegal drugs in the past 12 months. But at the same time, the number of students aged 19 to 22 who thought that regular marijuana use was risky or unsafe has decreased from 2006 to 2014.
Even though pot smoking in general – not necessarily daily – has also seen a rise, researchers focused on the fact that five out of 10 college students have quit using illicit drugs during the past year, which is definitely encouraging.
Reports also showed that binge drinking – having a long drinking session in one sitting – is declining, as only 5 percent of participants had drunk more than 15 alcoholic beverages in a row during the past two weeks.
Growing from 5.7 percent in 2007 to 10.1 percent in 2014, the use of amphetamines without a prescription follows the trend set by marijuana. Johnston believes, however, that the sharp increase in amphetamine use on college campuses might have something to do with students trying to improve their test performance with drug-assisted help.
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