The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that marijuana and hallucinogen use in the U.S. among those 19 to 30 years old hit historic highs, according to a Monitoring the Future panel study. 

“As the drug landscape shifts over time, this data provides a window into the substances and patterns of use favored by young adults,” Dr. Nora Volkow, the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement. “We need to know more about how young adults are using drugs like marijuana and hallucinogens, and the health effects that result from consuming different potencies and forms of these substances.”

The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns had on the nation’s overall mental and physical health. (See “GET DRUNK: THE COVID WAR KILLER” 29 Mar 2022, “BOOZE BINGE ESSENTIAL” 2 Jun 2020, “MORE LOCKDOWNS= RISE IN ALCOHOLIC LIVER DISEASE” 16 Feb 2021 and “COVID WAR LOCKDOWNS SPIKE DRUG ADDICTION IN U.S.” 17 May 2022.)

The survey found that marijuana use where an individual used it on 20 or more occasions in the past 30 days is at the highest levels since the research was first studied in 1988.

The proportion of young adults who reported past-year marijuana use reached 43 percent in 2021, a significant increase from 34 percent five years ago, the statement read. Daily marijuana use was reported by 11 percent of young adults in 2021, compared to 8 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2011.

The survey, which was conducted online from April to October 2021, and asked people from 19 to 60, also looked into hallucinogen use, which covers an array of drugs from “shrooms,” LSD, and mescaline. The use of these drugs were stable over the past few decades but in 2020, there was a dramatic increase, according to the study.

In 2021, 8 percent of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, representing an all-time high since the category was first surveyed in 1988. By comparison, in 2016, 5 percent of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, and in 2011, only 3 percent reported use.

Dr. Kevin M. Gray, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, told The New York Times that “availability” and “peer acceptability” play important roles in the trend. 

“Generally speaking, young people don’t see these substances as dangerous, but the consequences of using them are still there,” he said.

We reported in May that more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. last year—a 15 percent increase from 2020—due in large part to the spread of illegal fentanyl throughout the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. It should be noted that opioid use was a rare bright spot in the survey and was down last year. 

The survey also noted that binge drinking, which had been trending downward before the COVID-19 outbreak, returned to pre-pandemic levels. About 32 percent of young adults reported binge drinking in 2021, compared to 28 percent in 2020, and 32 percent in 2019. 

TREND FORECAST: The Trends Journal had forecast drug addiction, along with crime, would spike when politicians, without a scintilla of scientific data to support their draconian mandates, locked down much of the nation to fight the COVID War. (See “FENTANYL: A KILLER OPIOID”“COVID LOCKDOWNS INCREASE DRUG ABUSE” and “SADLY, AS FORECAST: FIGHTING THE COVID WAR=RECORD-BREAKING OPIOID DEATHS.”

TRENDPOST: Lockdowns also prevented people from accessing treatment for drug use or addiction; see “COVID LOCKDOWNS INCREASE DRUG ABUSE” (15 Sep 2020). 

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