Tuesday, August 28, 2012

National study: teens know where to get marijuana but use alcohol at higher rates

Results from the annual survey on teen substance abuse conducted by CASA Columbia provide an interesting look at youth access to and use of marijuana.  

Marijuana is the primary drug sold by students.  According to this national survey, 44% of high school students know of a student who sells drugs.  Overwhelmingly, the drug being sold by fellow students is marijuana.  

Though marijuana is sold by peers, alcohol is used more. What's interesting is that of the students who can identify a classmate who sells drugs, 55% use alcohol and 35% use marijuana.  

In schools where drugs are easy to get, alcohol is the drug of choice.  Of students who report that drugs are used, kept, or sold on school grounds (drug-infected schools), 40% report using alcohol and 24% use marijuana.

Legal drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.  Students in "drug-infected schools" report that within an hour they can get alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs more easily than marijuana.

Previous studies have indicated that the majority of teenagers who do not use marijuana report that they don't because it is illegal.  (Johnston, L. D., et al,. Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 2010. Volume I: Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.)

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