The most recent results from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study includes alarming insights regarding substance use among younger adults in the U.S. The MFT is an annual survey conducted in the U.S. to study substance use behaviors and attitudes of youth. Panel studies of MTF are done on a subset of this population as they age to study substance use behaviors and attitudes among adults. The latest results released captured substance use behaviors among adults aged 19 to 60 years.

Noteworthy findings include:

  • A dramatic increase in past-year marijuana and hallucinogen use among adults aged 35 to 50 in 20221.
  • A historic increase in past-year marijuana use, hallucinogen use, and marijuana and nicotine vaping¬†among young adults aged 19 to 301.The types of hallucinogens reported by adults in this age group included LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, shrooms or psilocybin, and PCP1.
  • A drastic rise in binge drinking among adults aged 35-50, marking the highest prevalence ever reported for this age group1.

These findings come as no shock, given the evolving marijuana policies, the increasing media coverage of hallucinogens, and the societal acceptance of alcohol consumption. It is imperative to maintain vigilant oversight over the ongoing consequences of marijuana legalization across the nation. We need to intensity education about the risks associated with marijuana use and counteract the messaging promoted by profit-driven addiction industries. A recent study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal showed a continuous shift in the risk perception associated with marijuana use among adults 18-25.

Research shows the need for ongoing prevention efforts related to substance misuse, increased awareness about substance use disorders and available treatment options, as well as advocacy for policies and legislation that promote drug demand reduction. Refer to the resource list below to learn more.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, know that help is within reach. Click here to learn more or call 9-8-8 if dealing with a substance use or mental health crisis.

Substance prevention messaging for youth: https://onechoiceprevention.org/

Variety of educational resources by substance category: https://dfaf.org/resources

Interested in developing a drug-free work place? Visit https://www.ndwa.org/

Interested in advocating for policies that support drug demand reduction? Visit https://www.saveoursociety.org/

References:

  1. https://nida.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/2023/08/marijuana-and-hallucinogen-use-binge-drinking-reached-historic-highs-among-adults-35-to-50
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0376871623011535?via%3Dihub