There was a significant increase in hallucinogen and marijuana use by young people (19 to 30 years) in 2021, compared to the past decade according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study. Since 1975, the US-based study has surveyed substance use behavior amongst a nationally representative sample of teens.
Participants self report their drug use across the past 30 days, 12 months and their lifetime. The MTF study is done by scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor and is funded by NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most recent findings:
Marijuana use (i.e., daily, past-month, past-year) reached the highest levels ever recorded since the introduction of the study. Young adults past-year marijuana use reached 43% in 2021, an increase of 34% from 2016 and 29% 10 years ago. Monthly use was reported at 29% in 2021, compared to 21% in 2016 and 17% in 2011.
Hallucinogen / Psychedelics Usage
Over the past 2 years, hallucinogen has increased dramatically. In 2021, 8% of young adult report hallucinogen use, which was an all-time high since the survey added the category in 1988. The types of hallucinogens reported in use were LSD, MDMA, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin (via mushrooms) and PCP. Surprisingly, MDMA use significantly decreased from 5% in 2016 and 2020 to 3% in 2021.
High-intensity drinking, which the study defines as 10 or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks was at its highest level in the studies history. It was reported that 13% of young adults were engaged in this activity compared to 11% in 2005. Daily drinking has been in a downward trend, with 66% of young adults reporting alcohol use in the past 30 days, a significant decline from 70% recorded in 2016 and 69% in 2011.
The data is providing evidence of what we’re seeing in real-time – the overall change of sentiment and renewed interest in psychedelics. Media interest has played a key role as we can see that Google searches and conversations have spiked over the long-term.
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