The 2017 Monitoring the Future College Students and Young Adults survey shows trends in the use of marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, and synthetic drugs in college students and non-college peers.
Panel 1: Marijuana Use is Lower in College Students than in their Non-College Peers
Daily* Marijuana Use Continues to Rise for Non-College Young Adults
In the past five years, daily* marijuana use has continued to rise for non-college young adults, reaching its highest level in 2017 at 13.2 percent. In contrast, daily marijuana use in college student reached its peak in 2014 at 5.9 percent.
Daily* use is almost three times higher in the non-college group.
*Daily use is defined as use on 20 or more occasions in the past 30 days
Vaping Marijuana Appears Lower in College Students Than in Non-College Peers
In 2017, 7.8 percent of non-college young adults vaped marijuana in the past month, compared with 5.2 percent of college students.
Panel 2: Nicotine Use is Lower in College Students than in Their Non-College Peers
Largest Differences for Annual, Past-Month, and Daily Use Rates Between College and Non-College Groups are for Cigarette Smoking
14.4 percent of non-college young adults smoked cigarettes daily, compared with 2.0 percent of college students.
Vaping Nicotine Appears Higher Among Non-College Group
7.9 percent of non-college young adults used e-vaporizers with nicotine in the past month, compared with 6.0 percent of college students.
Panel 3: Use of Synthetic Drugs is Lower in College Students Than in Their Non-College Peers
In the past year, 2.4 percent of non-college young adults vs. 0.5 percent of college students used synthetic cannabinoids (K2/Spice).
1.5 percent of non-college young adults vs. 0.2 percent of college students used synthetic cathinones (bath salts) in the past year.
Panel 4: Alcohol Use in College Students is Higher Than in their Non-College Peers
In the past month, 62.0 percent of college students and 56.4 percent of their non-college peers drank alcohol.
College students appear to mix alcohol with their energy drinks more than the non-college group. 31.5 percent of college students have had alcohol mixed with energy drinks in the past year, compared with 26.7 percent of their non-college peers.
Panel 5: Past-Year Misuse of Vicodin® has Dropped Dramatically in Both Groups Since 2009
Past-year misuse of Vicodin® has dropped from 11.2 percent in 2009 among non-college young adults to 1.8 percent in 2017. In college students, past-year misuse was 8.4 percent in 2009 and is 1.1 percent in 2017.
Please note, non-college peers are young adults 1 to 4 years beyond high school.
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