Study of 394,000 people warns teens are most likely to try drugs at this point
America is fighting to win its battle against drug addiction. The good weather does not help.
Teens are more likely to experiment with recreational drugs for the first time during the summer months in part because of the free time they have after leaving school in June and activities like music festivals, according to research published Tuesday by the NYU School of Medicine. More than a third (34%) of teens have tried LSD for the first time in the summer, followed by marijuana (30%), ecstasy (also known as MDMA or Molly; 30%) and cocaine (28%).
Also see: High school students have sex at the lowest rate in decades
“New users may not be familiar with the effects of various drugs, so it’s important to first understand when people are most likely to start these behaviors,” said Joseph Palamar, associate professor in the health department. NYU School of Medicine populations and study principal investigator. In 2017, more than 3 million people in the United States first tried LSD, marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy, according to federal figures.
The study was published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of General Internal Medicine, and gathered data collected from the Department of Health and Human Services National Survey on Drug Use and Health. between 2011 and 2017, involving around 394,415 people aged 12 and over. Participants were asked about their use of various drugs through a computer-assisted interview. New users were asked to remember the month and year they started using.
“Parents and educators who care about their children should educate them year round about the potential risks associated with drug use,” said Palamar, who is also a researcher at the Center for Drug Use and HIV / HCV Research at NYU College of Global. Public health. However, “just saying no” is not enough. He said parents should educate and warn their children about recreational drug use, its risks and side effects. Heat stroke and dehydration, for example, are two high risks with the dance drug ecstasy.
Recommended: Opioid overdoses soared 30% in one year
Adolescents also have other issues to deal with. Teens smoking e-cigarettes have also been described as an epidemic that now affects an estimated 3.6 million underage users of Juul and other e-cigarettes, the Associated Press reported. Federal law prohibits the sale of these vaping products to minors (under the age of 18). However, 1 in 5 high school students reported having vaped at least once in the past month, according to figures from the 2018 federal survey.
Opioids also remain a persistent threat. Addicts buy it on the streets because drugs like heroin are now often cheaper than prescription opioids. People sometimes develop an addiction to pain relievers after being prescribed opioids for an injury or illness, experts say.