TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Marijuana and nicotine vaping reached historically high prevalence among young adults in 2021, according to a report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

Megan E. Patrick, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined young adult substance use prevalence and trends since 1975 in the Monitoring the Future panel study. Participants were first sampled in 12th grade, corresponding to age 18 years, and were then surveyed every other year through age 29/30 years.

The researchers found that in 2021, the most prevalent substances used by young adults in the past 12 months were alcohol, marijuana, vaping nicotine, vaping marijuana, cigarettes, and other drugs (81.8, 42.6, 21.8, 18.7, 18.6, and 18.3 percent, respectively). Binge drinking was reported by 32.0 percent, and daily marijuana use was reported by 10.8 percent. From 2020 to 2021, there were increases seen in past 30-day vaping marijuana use; daily drinking decreased and binge drinking increased, returning to prepandemic levels of 2019; increases were seen in past 30-day vaping nicotine; nonmedical use of narcotics other than heroin decreased; and nonmedical use of some stimulants, including amphetamines, Adderall, cocaine, and methamphetamines, decreased. Historically high prevalence levels of marijuana use, nicotine vaping in the past 30 days, high-intensity drinking, and hallucinogens other than LSD were reported in 2021, while cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and narcotics other than heroin, Vicodin, and OxyContin were all at historically low levels.

“Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success,” Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement.

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