Tag Archive: University of Michigan


The debate has raged for years whether or not marijuana is the gateway drug.

It depends on which study you believe.

Recently a Journal of School Health article indicated that alcohol was the substance that led young users towards other drugs.

The study, which crunched the numbers of the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey, indicated that marijuana was not the culprit.

Now Yale University researchers have released a study which contradicts those claims.

Using the numbers from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) studies from 2006, 2007, and 2008.

The Yale researchers looked at 55,215 18- to 25-year-olds.

6,496, about 12 percent, reported that they were abusing prescription opioids.

Of the group abusing these drugs, about 57 percent had used alcohol, 56 percent had smoked cigarettes and 34 percent had used marijuana.

The study found that, among both men and women, those who had used marijuana were 2.5 times more likely than those their age who abstained to later dabble in prescription drugs.

Also, young men who drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes were 25 percent more likely to abuse prescription opioids.

The study didn’t show any relation between alcohol or cigarette use in young women and later use of prescription drugs.

Of course, marijuana advocates are blasting the study, saying that it is just anti-cannabis propaganda.

But parents can have their say.

There are millions of teens abusing prescription drugs, and millions more using marijuana.

Not all marijuana users turn to harder drugs, but talk to those using more dangerous drugs and they will tell you, they started with marijuana.

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It’s the tale of two stories.

A new study from the University of Colorado has medical marijuana activists, well actually all marijuana activists, jumping for joy.

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Researchers there say that states with legalized medicinal marijuana do not a correlation in the number of teen smokers. Essentially, teens are not more likely to smoke pot in states where medicinal marijuana is legal.

But it may not matter. When you look at the CDC’s 2011 Risky Behaviors study, you will see that the numbers of teen marijuana smokers is already much higher than it should be.

Let’s take a look at some of the graphs from the study and the information breakdown by ethnicity and by state.

Roughly 40% of all teens have smoked marijuana at least once in their life. About 8% of them either tried or started their pot smoking before the age of 13.

There isn’t much disparity between the ethnicities, 38% of white teens, 42% of Hispanic teens, and 43% of black teens admitted to smoking marijuana at least once.

Many people think marijuana is more popular in bigger states with more metropolitan areas. But these stats show, pot smoking is not just tied to the big apple and Los Angeles.

CDC 2011 Risky Behavior Study

How about big cities vs. little cities?

51% of Milwaukee high schoolers have tried marijuana. San Francisco holds one of the lowest percentages of cities selected for the survey.

And kids aren’t hiding somewhere smoking their grass. Nearly one fourth of them are getting high on campus.

There is no denying that there is major problem in this country with adolescent drug use, which has been soaring since 2008. Before 2008, drug use was on a lengthy decline.

These numbers tell the story.

A new study released t0day reveals mixed results when discussing teen drinking, smoking, and drug use.

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American teens had the second lowest rate of drinking and smoking tobacco than teens in 36 other countries, but they are more likely to use illicit drugs.

The survey reached 100,000 teenagers in countries across Europe, including Germany and France. Those students questioned were 15 and 16 years old and their habits were then measured by researchers against the data collected in the most recent “monitoring the future” survey.

That study, conducted by the University of Michigan, focuses on sophomore students.

27 percent of American students said that they drank alcohol during the 30 days prior to the survey. Only Iceland was lower at 17 percent, and the average rate in the 36 European countries was 57 percent, double the rate in the U.S.

In those same 30 says, 12 percent of American teens say they smoked cigarettes. Only Iceland had a lower rate at 10 percent.

For all European countries the average proportion smoking was 28 percent, again more than double the rate in the U.S.

But the news takes a downward turn when it comes to illicit drugs.

At 18 percent, the U.S. ranks third of 37 countries on the proportion of students using marijuana or hashish in the prior 30 days. Only France and Monaco had higher rates at 24 percent and 21 percent, respectively. The average across all the European countries was 7 percent, or less than half the rate in the U.S.

The U.S. ranks first in the proportion of students using any illicit drug other than marijuana in their lifetime (16 percent compared to an average of 6 percent in Europe) and using hallucinogens like LSD in their lifetime (6 percent vs. 2 percent in Europe).

Researchers also discovered that despite a sharp drop in ecstasy use, American students ranked first in reporting ecstasy use in their lifetime (7 percent vs. 3 percent in Europe). Ecstasy was seen as more available in the U.S. than in any other country.

Those numbers seem a little baffling, as Europe has seen a rash of ecstasy related deaths and illnesses in the last several months.

Investigators discovered American students reported the highest proportional lifetime use of amphetamines (9 percent), a rate that is three times the average in Europe (3 percent).

For some drugs, however, the lifetime prevalence rate in the U.S. was just about the average for the European countries, including inhalants (10 percent), cocaine (3 percent), crack (2 percent), heroin (1 percent) and anabolic steroids (1 percent).

This is the time for parents to take a closer look at their teens’ habits. ¬† Early drug use can often lead to early addiction. ¬†Early treatment can typically result in a better response to treatment.