According to an article today in JAMA Psychiatry, An estimated 9.5% of adults in this country use marijuana, and 30% of users meet the criteria for marijuana use disorder. These numbers are double those from ten years ago. The work was conducted in the NIAAA intramural lab of Dr. Bridget Grant.
“These findings highlight the changing cultural norms related to marijuana use, which could bring additional public health challenges related to addiction, drugged driving and access to effective treatment,” states Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which contributed funding to the study. This and other comments can be found in an NIH-issued press release today.
Other recent findings from NIDA- and NIAAA-funded studies:
- Marijuana impairs driving performance
- Since the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado, drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes are significantly more likely to test positive for marijuana use.
- Using marijuana and alcohol together impairs driving more than either substance alone
- Alcohol use may increase the absorption of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.
- Nearly one-third of adults in the United States have an AUD at some time in their lives, but only about 20 percent seek AUD treatment.
At present, 23 states have medical marijuana laws and 4 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. These numbers will continue to rise. The study authors note that public education about the dangers associated with marijuana use will be increasingly important to counteract public beliefs that marijuana use is harmless.