The 2022 Monitoring the Future survey by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has unveiled a concerning trend: past-year and daily cannabis use among adults aged 19-30 has reached unprecedented levels. This survey sheds light on the evolving landscape of cannabis consumption and its impact on young adults.
The survey’s findings are clear: cannabis use among adults aged 19-30 has reached its highest levels ever recorded by the NIH. In the past year, 44% of this age group reported consuming cannabis, while 11% reported daily use. These figures mark a significant increase compared to previous years. In 2017, past-year cannabis use was at 35%, and in 2012, it was at 28%. Daily cannabis use also exhibited a similar upward trajectory over the same periods.
Notably, the survey highlights a rise in cannabis vaping among young adults. In 2022, 21% of those aged 19-30 reported past-year cannabis vaping, compared to 12% in 2017. Nicotine vaping among this group also experienced a historic high, reaching 24% in 2022.
Hallucinogen use has also seen an increase among adults aged 19-30. The survey indicates that 8% reported past-year use, up from 5% five years ago and 3% in 2012. This rise includes substances like LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin mushrooms.
While the survey indicates a decline in alcohol use rates among adults aged 19-30 over the past decade, there was a slight increase in past-year drinking in 2022 (84%) compared to five years ago (82% in 2017). Similarly, alcohol use among adults aged 35-50 has gradually increased over the past 10 years.
Interestingly, the study suggests that past-year use of cigarettes, sedatives, and non-medical use of opioid medications has declined over the past decade for both adult age groups. Additionally, past-year amphetamine use has decreased among 19- to 30-year-olds but has increased among 35- to 50-year-olds.
The findings of the 2022 NIH survey shed light on the evolving landscape of substance use among young adults. Rising cannabis use, coupled with shifts in vaping habits and other substance consumption, underscores the importance of ongoing research, education, and public health initiatives.