The National Institutes of Health have released new data showing that young people between the ages of 18 to 30 said they used marijuana and hallucinogens like ecstasy and LSD more last year than ever before.
Forbes reported that the study, published on Monday, showed that rates of heavy drinking and vaping also spiked.
People between the ages of 19 to 30 were surveyed in the Monitoring the Future study, which has been funded since 1975, and involved researchers at the University of Michigan, CNN reported.
Dr. Nora Volkow, a director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said, "As the drug landscape shifts over time, this data provides a window into the substances and patterns of use favored by young adults." He said, "Young adults are in a critical life stage and honing their ability to make informed choices. Understanding how substance use can impact the formative choices in young adulthood is critical to help position the new generations for success."
The researchers found that over one in 10 young adults reported using marijuana on a daily basis in 2021, CNN reported.
Megan Patrick at the University of Michigan, who was a principal investigator of the study, said, "One of the best ways we can learn more about drug use and its impact on people is to observe which drugs are appearing, in which populations, for how long, and under which contexts."
Patrick said, "Monitoring the Future and similar large-scale surveys on a consistent sample population allow us to assess the effects of 'natural experiments' like the pandemic. We can examine how and why drugs are used and highlight critical areas to guide where the research should go next and to inform public health interventions."