All Teen Substance Use is Related

Researchers at the Institute for Behavior and Health organized a study that compared substance use rates among American teens aged 12-17 specifically looking at whether or not use of one substance — alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana — increased the risk of using the others. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that for teens, all substance use is related.


Compared to their peers who did not use marijuana, youth aged 12-17 who used marijuana in the past month were:

  • 7.9 times more likely to binge drink,

  • 9.9 times more likely to use other illegal drugs, including opioids,

  • 8.9 times more likely to smoke cigarettes.

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018). Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use. Preventive Medicine, 113, 68-73.


Similarly, compared to their peers who did not use cigarettes, youth aged 12-17 who used cigarettes in the past month were 

  • 6.1 times more likely to binge drink,

  • 7.7 times more likely to use other illegal drugs,

  • 7.0 times more likely to use marijuana.

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018).  Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use .  Preventive Medicine , 113, 68-73.

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018). Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use. Preventive Medicine, 113, 68-73.


The relationship holds for alcohol use as well: compared to their peers who did not use binge drink, youth aged 12-17 who engaged in binge drinking in the past month were:

  • 9.9 times more likely to use marijuana,

  • 8.1 times more likely to use other illegal drugs,

  • 7.6 times more likely to smoke cigarettes.

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018).  Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use .  Preventive Medicine , 113, 68-73.

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018). Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use. Preventive Medicine, 113, 68-73.


No use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs for health.


References

#1

IBH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that identifies new ideas to reduce illegal drug use. One Choice Prevention is a website of IBH.

#2

DuPont, R. L., Han, B., Shea, C. L., & Madras, B. K. (2018). Drug use among youth: national survey data support a common liability of all drug use. Preventive Medicine, 113, 68-73.

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