A new study has found that pot use has been on the rise for the past decade, along with marijuana use disorders. While many have touted this drug as safe in recent years, primarily for the purpose of legalizing its use, statistics and studies continue to indicate those claims do not hold as much water as people would like to think. With more people smoking pot than ever before, it is important to educate yourself about the dangers associated with this drug and the possible ramifications of this legalization trend.
Marijuana Use Doubles, Study Finds
Researchers looked at data from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which consisted of face-to-face individuals between 2001 and 2002 and again between 2012 and 2013. The interviews asked about marijuana use within the past year, as well as potential signs or a diagnosis of marijuana abuse or dependency. More than 43,000 responses were examined from 2001-2002 and more than 36,000 were assessed from 2012-2013.
The study found that marijuana use increased from four percent of adults in 2001-2002 to 10 percent in 2012-2013. At the same time, marijuana abuse increased from 1.5 percent to three percent, indicating the drug may be more addictive than legalization proponents claim. Increases were particularly noted among African-Americans, Hispanics and women. The age range for marijuana use also broadened, with increases seen among middle-aged adults and seniors.
Not Limited to Adults
While this recent study was limited to adults in the U.S., increased use among teens has also been noted. A report from the National Institutes of Health in 2013 found an increasing number of teenagers do not see marijuana as harmful, which has led to an increased use among this demographic as well. In 2003, around six percent of 12th graders said they had used pot, compared to 6.5 percent that said they used marijuana regularly in 2013. A growing number of teens have also determined that pot use is not harmful, a concerning statistic to those working with teens and adults struggling with marijuana abuse.
At the same time marijuana use is on the rise, legalization of the substance is spreading. Currently, 23 states have legalized pot for medicinal use, while four have legalized it for recreational use. Other states have legalizations questions on future ballots, indicating this issue is likely to become more widespread.
At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, we have seen firsthand the toll marijuana abuse can take on teen and their families. We offer treatment programs to help teens overcome their substance addiction and discover new life in sobriety. To get help today, contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665.