Health Care

Teen addiction twice as likely for pot than any other drug

An explosive study published March 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics and conducted by prominent researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that teenage marijuana users (aged 12-17) have double the prevalence of a use disorder (addiction) than nicotine, alcohol, and, in most categories of users, even prescription drug misusers. 

According to information provided by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the addiction rate was as high as 20% among those who had used more than three years, and double the rate of alcohol in all categories.

“Knowing how potent today’s marijuana is, this study shouldn’t be a complete shock – but given today’s misinformed views, it is a bombshell,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, SAM president and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “It was always thought that drugs like cigarettes had a far greater prevalence for use disorder than marijuana, but this study finds the prevalence of marijuana use disorder among teens is at the top.”

Marijuana addiction rates among lifetime users was 10.7% among those who used less than a year; 14.6% among those who used 1-2 years; 16.8% among those who used 2-3 years; and 20.1% among those who used more than three years. Out of twenty categories of users across five non-marijuana drugs, the only addiction rate that comes close is the 11% rate among teenage prescription drug misusers who used less than a year. Marijuana addiction rates were higher than all prescription drug misusers for those who used more than a year. 

The release of this study comes at a crucial time, as lawmakers in five states (New Hampshire, Hawaii, Maryland, Wyoming, and North Dakota) have all rejected efforts to legalize the substance in recent days. However, lawmakers in New York and New Mexico will vote within days of this study’s publication on bills to commercialize marijuana and essentially endorse its use.

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  1. Marijuana is OFTEN A GATEWAY drug to harder products IE:.Fentanyl and more Make it legal and we will lose many of our people , For this , I will blame the State for their chase of the dollars Tax money and their attitude of screw the Consequenses

    • The Vermont legislators and Governor Phil Scott led us down this road that will result in a major train wreck for our youth. Dear Governor Scott: What part of your oft stated purpose of “protecting the most vulnerable” with what you do was exercised here when you allowed this to become law? Who are you serving? God or mammon? Don’t know what I’m talking about? There will come a day when you will find out. Better learn now and repent.

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