A new survey has found that patterns of substance use are changing among the younger generation, with the use of hallucinogens and cannabis rising while alcohol is becoming increasingly unpopular. The survey was designed to offer insight into the trends of national drug use among young adults annually and began gathering data in the mid-1970s.
These findings were reported in “Monitoring the Future,” a publication by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The results show that the use of cannabis last year continued to rise, as observed in previous years, with the use of hallucinogens such as LSD also increasing.
Physicians state that the survey’s results reflect their experiences treating young adults and teens for substance use. For example, Dr. Maria Rahmandar of the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago stated that the survey’s findings were consistent with what she had observed clinically, adding that she’d noticed an increase in patients’ reports of psychedelic substances.
Hallucinogens and psychedelics suchas psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and LSD have become more popular as new studies find that the substances could be utilized in the treatment of mental health conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Rahmandar, who is the medical director of the hospital’s substance-use program, explained that most individuals assumed that the substances were beneficial, given the ongoing studies. However, she noted that unlike cannabis, which has been decriminalized in various states across the country, psychedelic substances were still illegal to use, with the exception of research studies.
The study also found that cannabis was considered to be the least dangerous of all illicit drugs. The perception of risk has been declining since the year 2006, when roughly 55% of the respondents considered the regular use of cannabis as dangerous. This is in comparison to the 21% of respondents who still considered it dangerous last year.
Rahamandar adds that the THC concentration in products these days is so much higher in contrast to the marijuana used in the ’60s. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive component found in marijuana that induces a high. In addition, Rahmandar explained, doctors had observed a link between an increased risk of psychosis and higher potency products.
The CDC warns that young people who regularly indulge in cannabis have higher chances of developing schizophrenia, which is a chronic mental health condition that is characterized by hallucinations and delusional thoughts.
Public health experts also note that binge drinking is decreasing while vaping has levelled out. Many of those opting to consume marijuana are doing so for therapeutic purposes, and the dose-measuring devices made by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) could come in handy for such people to ensure that they are taking the right doses to give them the results they want.
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