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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Teen drug use is largely on the decline, with one notable exception — marijuana.

    Nearly 23 percent of high school seniors reported using marijuana in the past month, according to new data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health, which collected responses as part of an annual survey of teen drug use known as “Monitoring the Future.”

    The survey polled eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students from across the country about their drug and alcohol consumption.

    “Now we have more teenagers smoking marijuana than cigarettes,” Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in an interview.

    “If you ask if they smoke, they think you mean marijuana,” she said.

    There was a significant tumble in tobacco use among teens, in keeping with the decline seen over the past two decades. In 1991 — the first year the survey collected data on cigarette smoking — nearly 11 percent of high school seniors smoked at least a half a pack a day. In 2015, just 1.8 percent of high school seniors did.

    And the rate of teens reporting they’ve been drunk in the past year has also hit an all-time low. About 37 percent of 12th grade students reported being intoxicated in the past year, compared with a peak rate of 53 percent in 2001.

    Volkow attributed those declines to efforts to curb alcohol and tobacco use among teens.

    “There have been very, very strong prevention campaigns targeted toward teenagers,” she said, adding that those prevention campaigns “may have had an unintended consequence in reducing use of other drugs.”

    One of the most surprising statistics? The relatively stable rate of heroin use. Just 0.3 percent of high school seniors reported having injected heroin in the past year, the same rate seen in 2014. Volkow said those figures caught her eye, given that heroin use among adults in the US is on the rise.

    “Teenagers perceive heroin as very harmful,” she explained.

    Just under 5 percent of high school seniors reported having used opioid pain relievers for non-medical reasons, down from a peak rate of 9.4 percent in 2004. The rate of non-medical use of the ADHD drug Adderall — which 6 percent of high school seniors reported using in the past year — has remained fairly stable.

    Marijuana remains a major hurdle in tackling illicit drug use among adolescents, Volkow said. She expressed concern that new marijuana laws have the potential to make it easier for teenagers to try weed — opening the door for them to use other illicit substances, too.

    “This is a stage of great vulnerability for drug consumption,” she said. “These policy changes influence teenagers, even though we may not be seeing it.”


    By Megan Thielking - STAT/Dec. 13, 2016
    https://www.statnews.com/2016/12/13/marijuana-teens-tobacco-ecigarettes/
    Photo: Kenzo Tribouliiard, getty
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. scartissue_68
    This article brings two concerns:

    1 - Modern GMO Cannabis is way to potent for minds that have not yet completely developed. That state of maturity usually doesn't happen before 19-23 years old. Many of the problems with cannabis I read here on DF are usually brought up by those who started smoking at 14 and now have cannabis withdrawals, anxiety, paranoia, etc.

    2 - Cannabis is far more likely to create a state of mind and body wherein unprotected sex could more easily result. I personally believe cannabis is far more of a aphrodisiac and tactical pleasure enhancer than alcohol could ever be. It also focuses your mind on the experience at hand, which also tends to mask the future results of any sexual encounter.

    I can't attribute either of these opinions to any scientific study, just personal opinion and a bit of experience...make that many years of experience.
  2. TheBigBadWolf
    ^^Yes. Scartissue hits it.
    I guess some of my todays anxiety problems come from early beginning to smoke cannabis.

    Anyhow, I understand how one would chose weed over tobacco.
    With tobacco you have no sensation other than getting dizzy for a short time.
    Weed on the other hand has opened a new world of concentration 'what is at hand',better music comprehension and the tactile and aphrodisiant properties.

    Cigarettes only make your mouth taste like a full ashtray.

    take this from a 39 years tobacco and 37 years weed smoker :thumbsup:
  3. foremoreaddict
    Well I agree that cannabis potency has increased, it is my strong opinion that this is a result of advances in selective breeding and not GMO. Although in the future this may change especially when more big businesses are producing it. Also many popular strains have been bred exclusively for THC and possible psychoactive-effect mitigating things like CBD bred out. Of course hash can be made in a variety of ways for an increased potency of 90%+ THC.
    Well I agree that it can potentialy be a good aphrodisiac, I disagree that in can make people lose their inhibitions as much as alcohol can. I've. never been a regular drinker but some of the times I've consumed alcohol I've made some of the worst decisions. It may make you focus more on the experience at hand but I also feel it makes you more self conscious of your actions too, sometimes for some people to the point of anxiety and paranoia.
  4. scartissue_68
    Unfortunately, we have been sold hysteria surrounding the term: GMO. Of course, its meaning is obvious: "Genetically Modified Organism", but many want us to believe its somehow new and dangerous.

    Selective breeding IS genetic modification, as is exotic fertilization, grafting, hydroponics, cross-pollination, etc. Cannabis is an organism. Our farmers are feeding the world due to superior technology and continually improving the breed. Example: A corn plant used to have only one ear of seeds per plant. Today, most corn grown for animal feed and fuel has two ears per stalk. A 100% improvement in yield in the same surface area of land.

    Cannabis is being manipulated in many ways. Modifying its molecular structure through growing techniques or other means mentioned above in order to improve its potency, taste, smokability, etc. IS GMO. Its DNA has been changed and will "breed true" from then on.
  5. foremoreaddict
    I think of GMO as gene splicing, as in directly adding and subtracting DNA sequences in a lab. And I feel this is has more dangers and unpredictable outcomes than selective breeding.

    All of nature seems to selectively breed and DNA is modified in the process, some call it survival of the fittest. Yes, selective breeding can also have detrimental effects and I pointed out a potential one for cannabis in my above post.
  6. scartissue_68
    Interesting point. GMO is a misleading term. Your use of "Gene-Splicing" is more accurate.
  7. TheBigBadWolf
    Hopefully "real" GMO will be much too expensive to fumble on marijuana for the next decades.
    Bad enough that normal breeding has produced weed that is sending the youngsters into anxiety.
    More Bang for the Buck is not what (IMNSHO) the future of cannabis should be.
    We already have strains that are medicinal and others for recreational use. And I believe that with a real legalisation including control of the cannabinoid content it's possible to keep users off anxiety etc.

    I hope this makes some sense.
    BBW
  8. foremoreaddict
    Hopefully "real" GMO will be boycotted before it can cross breed and destroy "natural" strains.
    I'll just quickly point out that as far as I'm aware natural cannabinoids are not alkaloids primarily because they do not contain nitrogen.
  9. perro-salchicha614
    New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=53732&stc=1&d=1484069075[/IMGR]One of the classic arguments used by anti-pot politicians and pundits is that legalization would harm young people. The argument they make is that if cannabis is legal, it’ll encourage teens to smoke more. But the data doesn’t back it up. In fact, the National Institutes of Health just published new data on teen drug use. And the results reveal that teens don’t smoke more weed despite the fact that cannabis is becoming legal in more places than ever before.

    The Data: Teens Don’t Smoke More Weed

    The data comes from the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey. This annual survey gauges the use of drugs among young people in the United States.

    Here are some highlights from this year’s study:


    • Marijuana use in the past month among eighth graders dropped. Last year, 6.5% of teens in that age group used cannabis. This year, that number is down to 5.4%.
    • Daily marijuana use among eighth-graders fell from 1.1% in 2015 to 0.7% in 2016.
    • Cannabis use among tenth graders was about the same this year as it was last year. But researchers pointed out that this stable number is the lowest it’s been in more than two decades.
    • Use of marijuana among high school seniors is also holding steady. Among teens in this group, 6% report daily use and 22.5% said they’ve used marijuana in the last month. Those stats are basically the same as last year’s numbers.

    The overall message communicated by these numbers is clear. Marijuana legalization does not lead to higher use among teens and young people. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Cannabis use among teens is lower now than it’s been in decades. And in 2016, teen use either remained steady or decreased.

    What Do The Numbers Mean?

    This study has some important political implications. That’s because one of the go-to arguments by anti-pot spokespeople is that legalization will harm young people.

    This argument was in full force this fall, especially in states where people were voting on new cannabis bills. For example, a group of politicians and law enforcement agents from Colorado spoke out against legalization in Arizona.

    They said that there’s been a “dramatic increase in youth use in Colorado.” And they used that claim to urge voters to say no to the state’s legalization bill.

    Similarly, a pharmaceutical company that makes a highly addictive drug called Fentanyl spoke out against legalization bills. And the company’s argument? Cannabis legalization would harm children and young people.

    Clearly, this is still a myth that has a lot of traction. But the numbers from this year’s Monitoring the Future survey show just how false this myth is.

    “We’ve always argued that taking marijuana out of the unregulated criminal market and putting sales into the hands of responsible retailers would actually make it harder for young people to get,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority.

    “The new data bear this out. And it’s just common sense. Under legalization, businesses have every incentive to follow the rules and make sure their customers are of legal age lest they lose their lucrative licenses. Conversely, black market dealers don’t care about the IDs in their customers’ wallets. They only care about the money in there.”

    12/16/2016
    Chuck Ludley
    Green Rush Daily
    https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/12/16/new-data-finds-teens-dont-smoke-weed-legalized/
  10. dr ACE
    Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

    More excellent news that makes sense, finally people are opening their eyes and seeing the light
  11. perro-salchicha614
    Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

    Yep... I found it particularly ironic (but not surprising) that a company that makes fentanyl was speaking out against legalization. In the US, it is quite common to see people twisting moralistic arguments for their own financial benefit.
  12. aemetha
    Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

    Historically speaking the greatest driver of increased youth drug use has been anti-drug campaigns. Prohibition of alcohol saw a massive increase in youth hospital admissions for alcohol and led to youths becoming involved in the smuggling trade. Similarly anti glue sniffing campaigns in the 1950's created a glue sniffing problem that hadn't existed before the campaigns.

    I'm not convinced that education is the problem however, but rather how we educate. Anti drug campaigns seem to revolve around worst case social outcomes. "Don't take drugs or you'll end up homeless and alone!" type of scenarios. The problem with this type of education is that people cannot understand them. If you haven't been homeless, how do you properly appreciate the circumstances that led to it?

    We should be teaching how psychoactive substances work in compulsory biology classes in schools. Compulsory because the brain is an organ that we rely on throughout our lives. We don't fully understand what different parts of the brain perform different functions, but we do understand the basics of neurons and neurotransmitters, and we should teach that. It's really not that complicated. Neuron A sends neurotransmitters to neuron B, neuron B then considers how activated it is by said neurotransmitters, and if it's sufficiently activated it fires its action potential and sends neurotransmitters to neuron C. Simple, I wrote that in one sentence. Psychoactive drugs manipulate this process. There's obviously more to it than that, but that is the basis of it, and it's simple enough for anyone to understand.

    We need to stop telling people "drugs are bad" and assuming that they are too stupid to understand the complexities of them. We talk all the time about making informed decisions, but when it comes to drug use we don't inform, we attempt to scare and intimidate. That approach just makes youths think "If they are bad and people still do them they must be really good." and they aren't wrong. There is no communication of the fact that the reason they are bad is tied up in them making you feel good. There's no communication of the fact that in many cases they are much worse, and why they are, if your brain is still developing as is the case in youths.

    We need to drop the hysteria and up the informing. Abstinence only sex education that distorts and misrepresents facts has proven to be ineffective over a number of years, while comprehensive sex education has had positive outcomes in both delayed initiation of sexual activity and decreased occurrences of unprotected sexual activity. This demonstrates clearly that youth are able to intelligently consider properly delivered educational material and make informed decisions. Why would it be different in the case of drugs?

    I'm not sure the legal status of the drug matter so much as how we educate. The legal status has implications in terms of criminalising users for a personal choice, and monitoring of the supply for adulterants, and those are important issues that must be addressed. I suspect it is easier to deliver informative education about drugs in a legalised format because someone, somewhere would no doubt accuse educators of promoting illegal drug use by delivering informative education on the subject.

    Human nature isn't as intuitive as people would believe. Tough on crime campaigns for example don't work. Never have worked. Three strikes is a great example, it's supposed to be an incentive not to commit violent crimes, it instead motivates greater violence in the crime to ensure witnesses don't testify against the perpetrators. Lengthy jail terms that emphasise punishment have higher recidivism rates than shorter terms that emphasise rehabilitation. When a person becomes depressed they lose their motivation to change their circumstances, when that is in fact exactly what they need to do. When a person becomes addicted to drugs they feel like they need the drug, when that in fact is exactly what is causing the problem. In the case of drug education the urge to try and scare youth away from it is similarly the wrong response, we instead need to stay calm and rational, and explain exactly what it does in an impartial way, and trust that the youth are able to make informed choices, and support them if they make the wrong choice to get back on a healthy path.

    Sorry for the long tldr post, I don't think I wandered too far from the topic though. This is about drug legalisation, and reducing harmful drug use in youth. We should apply evidence based approaches to the problem and ignore the instincts that may cause more harm than it prevents.
  13. dr ACE
    Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

    I think one of the biggest peoblems lies in the hypocrisy of our societys. Caffeine is a drug consumed on daily bases yet no-one ever teaches kids this fact or the fact that it is addictive,so why should they believe anything their (wired on caffeine) teacher tells them about illegal drugs
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