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College students at increased risk for smoking marijuana

Science Spotlight

April 21, 2017

Two joints and a stash of marijuana on white background©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

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

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (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. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

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    NIDA (). College students at increased risk for smoking marijuana. Retrieved , from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2017/04/college-students-increased-risk-smoking-marijuana

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