New research highlights the need for prevention and intervention efforts among adolescents with low perceived cannabis use risk, mental health symptoms, and substance use histories, especially among marginalized populations.
A study published in Children and Health Services Review (2024) examined the ties between adolescents’ perceived risk of cannabis use, other substance use, and mental health.
Data were extracted from a nationally representative survey, Monitoring the Future (N=617).
The study found that low-risk perceptions of cannabis use, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption as pathways between poor mental health and current cannabis use among high school seniors.
A pathway to current cannabis use was found from problematic mental health symptoms through cigarette smoking and a perceived low risk of cannabis use among adolescents.
The researchers concluded that preventative strategies should be considered to reduce polysubstance use including cannabis use and to promote well-being among adolescents.
We believe these results indicate the need for substance use prevention interventions and campaigns that target perceived risks of cannabis and other substance use as well as increase healthy habits that promote mental health.
Read the extended research abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0190740924000288