In incredibly good news, studies show that drug use has declined since pot has been legalized in more states
We’ve heard it time and time again — drugs are bad. But now that marijuana is legal in more states than ever, some of us are wondering as to whether or not its pros outweigh its cons. Regardless of where you stand, one thing is for sure — since America is more open on pot, certain numbers are down on kids smoking recreationally. They’re also avoiding other drugs, as well.
According to a survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, drug use and tobacco use are both polling low — and for tobacco, it’s at an all-time low. It looks like less and less kids are interested in smoking and more interested in healthy living, which is an incredibly positive development.
As for pot use itself, there was a big decline as far as the 8th graders went. But for the 10th graders? Use actually increased. For the high school seniors of the bunch, the amount of pot smoked didn’t change much in comparison to years past.
Speaking of surveys, the group polled was definitely varied, and all responses were directly part of the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey. In total, 45,000 students throughout 380 public and private schools were included within this research.
Based on the fact that the popular opinion was that recreational use among children would increase within all groups after legalization, this is actually good news.
Plus, while there were some increases in pot use across the board, the incredibly dangerous drugs — like heroin, and other narcotics — plummeted in use. Even alcohol use and prescription pill abuse are down.
"We had predicted — based on the changes in legalization, culture in the U.S., as well as decreasing perceptions among teenagers that marijuana was harmful — that [accessibility and use] would go up. But it hasn’t gone up," Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a recent interview.
While Volkow isn’t 100% sure why the numbers have declined so rapidly, there are a few considerations. For one, more teens seem to interact with each other remotely, and through social media, instead of face-to-face.
Also, teens today might just be more aware of the long-term damage that many of these drugs can directly cause.
No matter what, it’s incredible news. We’re so proud that teens are making smarter, more educated decisions, and hope these positive trends continue!