College students at increased risk for smoking marijuana

Science Spotlight

Image
Photo of dried marijuana and joints.
Image by ©Shutterstock/Stephen Orsillo

An analysis of national survey data indicates that students attending college are at a significantly higher risk of beginning to use marijuana than those not enrolled in college, underscoring the need for improved prevention efforts. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The study found that the increased probability of past-year marijuana use for those enrolled in college versus not enrolled was 51% in 2015, 41% in 2014, and 31% in 2013. Prior to 2013 (between 1977-2012), youth in college who had never used marijuana in high school were 17-22% more likely to use marijuana in the past year than their peers not in college. The researchers examined marijuana use before and after 2013, the first full year after recreational marijuana use was legalized in Colorado and Washington state.

The authors examined survey data from the annual Monitoring the Future study. These findings highlight the importance of developing and implementing marijuana education and prevention programs in a college setting. 

For a copy of the paper — "The Influence of College Attendance on Risk for Marijuana Initiation in the United States: 1977-2015"— published in the American Journal of Public Health, go to: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303745 (PDF, 606KB).

For information about marijuana use, go to: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245. Follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook

NIDA Press Office
301-443-6245
media@nida.nih.gov

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. For more information about NIDA and its programs, visit www.drugabuse.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®