Simultaneous Marijuana and Alcohol Use among Adolescents


This new study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse examined patterns of concurrent and simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana use among 12th grade adolescents. 

Researchers identified four patterns of use among adolescents: 

(1) Simultaneous alcohol and marijuana (SAM) use with binge drinking and recent marijuana use (SAM-Heavier Use; 11.2%); 

(2) SAM use without binge drinking and with recent marijuana use (SAM-Lighter Use; 21.6%); 

(3) Marijuana use and alcohol use but no SAM use (Concurrent Use; 10.7%); and 

(4) Alcohol use but no marijuana or SAM use (Alcohol-Only Use; 56.4%) 

In addition, adolescents in either simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use group had higher likelihood of: 

  • Truancy,
  • Evenings out, and
  • Use of illicit drugs other than marijuana. 

The authors conclude that adolescent prevention programs should focus on simultaneous use of marijuana and alcohol among adolescents due to its increased public health risks. 

Previous research we’ve reported showing associations not only between alcohol and marijuana, but between using these substances and physical inactivity, unhealthy nutrition, lack of sleep and uncontrolled stress, suggest broader integrated programs would hold the greatest potential for protecting and improving the physical and mental health of youth. 

Prevention programs that integrate substance use avoidance with the promotion of healthy, fit and successful lifestyles also have the distinct advantage of being more appealing and can increase program participation among adolescents and young adults. 

Read the research abstract: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00952990.2017.1402335 

Please like and share this important research with others in your region and state.  Thank you!

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