More Young People Use Weed Than Ever; Some Opioid Abuse Fell Last Year

Media outlets cover a new study that shows consumption of marijuana and some hallucinogenic drugs hit records in 2021, while narcotic use other than heroin, Vicodin, and OxyContin were all at record low levels among young adults in 2021.

The Washington Post: Marijuana Use Among Young People In US At Record High, Study Says

Young people used marijuana and some hallucinogens at record levels last year, according to a new report funded by the National Institutes of Health, as recreational cannabis became legal in more states and as attitudes toward other drugs continue to shift. Nearly 43 percent of young people said they had used marijuana in the past 12 months, up from 29 percent in 2011 and nearly 34 percent in 2016, according to the Monitoring the Future study by the University of Michigan, which surveyed nearly 5,000 young adults between 19 and 30 years old. (Pietsch, 8/24)

The New York Times: Marijuana And Psychedelics Use Soars Among Young Adults, Study Finds

The findings, part of the government’s annual survey of drug use among young Americans, also found that nicotine vaping and excessive alcohol consumption continued to climb in 2021 after a brief pause. Another worrying trend among young people, ages 19 to 30: mounting consumption of alcoholic beverages suffused with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. But there were some bright spots in the survey. Cigarette smoking and opioid abuse among young adults dropped last year, a continuing trend that has heartened public health experts. (Jacobs, 8/23)

NPR: Marijuana, Hallucinogen Use At An All-Time High Among Young Adults, Study Shows

The amount of young adults who said in 2021 that they used marijuana in the past year (43%), the past month (29%) or daily (11%) were at the highest levels ever recorded. Daily use — defined in the study as 20 or more times in 30 days — was up from 8% in 2016. (Archie, 8/24)

Read the full report —

Monitoring the Future Panel Study Annual Report

In news about vaping —

Stat: The FDA Stands By As The Vaping Industry Floats Its Orders

A STAT investigation found that vape companies are regularly floating the FDA’s orders. They’re making, stocking, and selling illicit goods. And the agency is just letting it happen. (Florko and Welle, 8/24)

The Herald News: Vaping And Opioids Are A Serious Threat To Teens. Here’s What’s Being Done Locally To Help

As the overdose epidemic continues to hit Bristol County and Massachusetts hard, teens and children face unique dangers from drug use, especially vaping, local advocates say. “It’s really become a commonality in all of the schools,” said Marc Dunderdale, a prevention coordinator with SSTAR, a leading substance use treatment provider in the region. (Cooney, 8/22)

More news about opioid use and addiction —

Chicago Tribune: Chicago-Area Counties Sue Pharmacy Chains For Allegedly Feeding Opioid Crisis

Nineteen Illinois counties, including five of six in the Chicago area, are suing some of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, alleging the companies contributed to the overdose crisis by failing to monitor and restrict improper prescriptions. The lawsuit, filed last week in Cook County, adds to the growing pile of opioid litigation being pursued by state and local governments against drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers. (Keilman, 8/23)

Barron’s: Ohio Asks Financial Advisors To Play Bigger Role In Combatting Opioid Crisis

Ohio has launched a campaign to help financial advisors and consumers deal with the ill effects of opioid abuse. The goal is to help families detect abuse, find treatment options, and prepare financially and also to make sure financial advisors have the tools and know-how to help them access and pay for treatment. (Winokur Muir, 8/23)

Reuters: Individual Must Face States’ Monopoly Claim Over Opioid Addiction Drug

Drugmaker Indivior Inc must face a lawsuit by 42 state attorneys general accusing it of using illegal tactics to shield its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone from generic competition, a federal judge has ruled. (Pierson, 8/23)

KCTV: $3.2 Million Available For Rural First Responders To Aid In Fight Against Opioids

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says announced on Tuesday, Aug. 23, that about $3.2 million in grants is available to help rural first responders fight opioid abuse. She said the grants will fund training for carrying and administering approved medication for emergency reversal of opioid overdoses. (Mother, 8/23)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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