Drugs Health Pharma

Use of marijuana, hallucinogens rise among young adults in the US

The use of marijuana and hallucinogens rose to a five-year high in younger adults between 19 and 30 years during the last year in the US, a study revealed.

HQ Team

August 17, 2023: The use of marijuana and hallucinogens rose to a five-year high in younger adults between 19 and 30 years during the last year in the US, a study revealed.

According to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study, an annual survey of substance use, behaviors, and attitudes of adults between 19 and 60 years old, marijuana, hallucinogen, and nicotine vaping recorded their highest historic levels for the 19-30 group in 2022.

Binge drinking declined for the past 10 years among younger adults. The age group of 35-50 reported the highest prevalence of binge drinking recorded for this age group, in the past year, five-year, and 10 years.

“Substance use is not limited to teens and young adults, and these data help us understand how people use drugs across the lifespan,” said NIDA director, Nora Volkow.

“Understanding these trends is a first step, and it is crucial that research continues to illuminate how substance use and related health impacts may change over time. 

Chronic, treatable

“We want to ensure that people from the earliest to the latest stages in adulthood are equipped with up-to-date knowledge to help inform decisions related to substance use.”

Substance use disorders are chronic, treatable conditions from which people can recover. In 2021, over 46 million people in the United States had at least one substance use disorder

Since 1975, the MTF study has annually surveyed substance use behaviors and attitudes among nationally representative samples of eighth, 10th, and 12th graders. 

The MTF study conducts follow-up surveys on a subset of the participants after the 12th grade to track their drug use through adulthood. After high school, the participants are followed every other year through age 30, then every five years afterward, with the oldest participants now in their sixties.

Data for the 2022 survey of adults were collected via online and paper surveys from April 2022 through October 2022. Researchers divided the data into two age groups to conduct trend analyses: 19 to 30 years old and 35 to 50 years old.


For adults aged between 19 and 30, the percentages of those reporting past-year marijuana use and daily marijuana use reached their highest levels ever reported by the study.

Daily marijuana use also reached its highest level reported in 2022 (11%), which was greater than five years (8% in 2017) and 10 years ago (6% in 2012). Reports of past-year marijuana use among adults aged 35 to 50 also reached an all-time high in 2022 at 28%.

Among adults aged 19 to 30, eight percent reported use of hallucinogens significantly higher than five years ago (5% in 2017) and 10 years ago (3% in 2012).

Types of hallucinogens reported by participants included LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, shrooms or psilocybin, and PCP.

Binge drinking

Alcohol use among adults aged 35 to 50 has shown a gradual increase over the past 10 years.

Drinking increased from 83% in 2012 to 85% in 2022. Binge drinking in this older group reached its highest levels (29% in 2022), and increased over the past year.

The MTF study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor.

Results from the related 2022 MTF study of substance use behaviors and related attitudes among teens in the United States were released in December 2022, and 2023 results were expected in December 2023.

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