Binge drinking, vaping, marijuana use, and hallucinogen consumption reached an all-time high among US adults in 2022, reflecting a significant increase in substance use in recent years. year, according to a study released Thursday.
New research from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel at the University of Michigan reveals that middle-aged adults, between the ages of 35 and 50, in the United States are using marijuana and hallucinogens at record levels. Binge drinking also rose to “the highest prevalence … ever recorded for this age group,” according to the panel’s study.
For young people aged 19 to 30, marijuana use and nicotine vaping have seen sharp increases over the past five years, rising to their highest levels in history seen in 2022.
“Substance use is not limited to teenagers and young adults, and these data help us understand how people use drugs throughout life,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a news release.
The MTF panel study is an annual survey that analyzes the attitudes and behaviors of substance use seen in adults between the ages of 19 and 60. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the survey collects data from a sample of approximately 28,500 participants nationwide each year.
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Inside the numbers
The data, which the researchers divided into two age groups to conduct trend analyses, for the 2022 survey was collected between April and October last year.
“The value of surveys like the MTF is to show us how trends in drug use evolve over decades and across development, from adolescence to adulthood,” Megan Patrick, research professor and principal investigator of the MTF panel study, said in a news release. “Public attitudes and perceptions of drug use can change rapidly, based on drug availability and other factors.”
Regarding the use of marijuana and hallucinogens, binge drinking, and vaping, the study ALSO found:
About 44% of young adults report using marijuana in the past year, an increase from 28% about a decade ago. Daily marijuana use has reached its highest level by age group, almost doubling from 10 years ago, with more than 1 in 10 using cannabis almost every day.
For adults between the ages of 35 and 50, marijuana use has more than doubled compared to 10 years ago with 28% reporting using the drug.
Young and middle-aged groups use hallucinogens such as LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, shrooms or psilocybin, and PCP at a higher rate compared to ten years ago. Among adults aged 19 to 30, 8% reported past year use of hallucinogens while 4% of adults 35 to 50 years of age reported using.
Nicotine vaping among young adults has almost doubled in the past five years, from 14% in 2017 – when the measure was first added to the survey – to 24% in 2022.
Binge drinking for the middle group reached its highest level in 2022 with about 29% reported compared to 25% in 2017 and 23% in 2012, respectively. Almost 30% of middle-aged adults reported having five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks.
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Substance use in the United States
According to the latest data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 61.2 million Americans ages 12 and older have used illicit drugs as of 2021. The average illegal drug used is marijuana, of which 52.5 million people used in 2021.
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics said that drug abuse and substance disorders are more likely to affect young men with the highest drug use among individuals between the ages of 18 and 25.
In 2021, “nearly 2 in 5 young adults 18 to 25 have used an illicit drug… 1 in 3 young adults 18 to 25 have used marijuana,” according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
And most American adults “drink alcohol at least once in their lifetime” with an average of more than 140,000 deaths from the effects of alcohol each year, the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marijuana use and binge drinking hit historic levels among US adults