The Journal of Prevention Science recently released a study showing that young people are now more apt to try cannabis before both cigarettes and alcohol. A research team from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development used data from the US National Survey of Drug Use and Health. The survey took information from 275,000 young people ranging in age from 12 to 25 who self-reported their first instances of drug use. They were focused on seeing if using cannabis before nicotine or alcohol changed future drug use behaviors.
The amount of young people whose first intoxicant was cannabis increased almost two-fold from 2004 to 2014. This research team concluded that using cannabis first did lead to a higher probability of future heavy cannabis use as well as a disposition to cannabis use disorders (CUD). However, this isn’t huge news since the same is true for those who try alcohol as their first intoxicant. Those who tried cigarettes as their first intoxicant did shrink dramatically from 2004 to 2012, but alcohol still remains steadfast as the most common first drug to try as a young person.
While this information is quite interesting, it’s important to note the many possible biases experienced. For example, this information is self-reported which makes an objective assessment somewhat impossible. Also, there is a lack of data about each person’s income levels, parental situations, mental health, etc. which only complicates the accuracy of the data. That being said, it is very interesting to see the dramatic rise in cannabis in comparison to alcohol.
Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.