Marijuana Use on the Rise

by Danielle Cotterman on December 16, 2011 at 4:26 am

Marijuana use is on the rise, especially among young adults.

According to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse Health Service Administration the use of illicit drugs increased between 2008 and 2010, revealing that 8.9% of the population were current illicit drug users. Marijuana seemed to be one of the prime factors in the overall rise.

"The medical marijuana efforts to pass in various states and that whole argument decreases young peoples attitudes that there might be a danger in this," said Muskingum Behavioral Health Executive Director Steve Carrel, "because if it ends up being prescribed then it must be safe."

According to the survey, in 2010 6.9% of Americans were currently users of marijuana -that’s up from 5.8% in 2007. For young adults ages 18-25 the rate of current illicit drug use rose to 21.5%.

"We know the human brain is not fully formed until about age 24 or 25, any time you introduce a mind altering, a mind changing chemical that changes brain chemistry, you face an increased chance of affecting that life forever," said Carrel.

Other findings of the survey revealed that 55% of people older than age 12 who had used prescription pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months received them from friends or relatives for free. Only 4.4% of those misusing the pain-relievers reported getting the supply from a drug dealer.