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State Estimates of Adolescent Marijuana Use and Perceptions of Risk of Harm From Marijuana Use: 2013 and 2014.


The CBHSQ Report. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2013-.
2015 Dec 17.


Background: Adolescents' attitudes about the risks associated with substance use are often closely related to their use. As states have been at the center of efforts to reduce adolescent marijuana use, examining adolescents' attitudes about the risks associated with using marijuana provides needed prevention information. Method: Combined 2013-2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs) state (including the District of Columbia) estimates of past month marijuana use and perceptions of great risk of harm from smoking marijuana once a month among persons aged 12 to 17 were analyzed. Additionally, the combined 2013-2014 data are compared with combined 2012-2013 data to examine changes in these measures over time. Results: Findings in this report suggest that marijuana use remains widespread among adolescents with few changes across states in the rate of marijuana use among youth between 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. About three-fourths of adolescents across all states did not think there was great risk in using marijuana in 2013-2014, and 14 states experienced a decrease in the percentage of youth who perceived great risk of harm from marijuana use. While youths' perceptions of risk are either remaining stable or declining across the states, the rate of marijuana use among youths has remained stable in nearly every state. Conclusion: Highlighting the prevalence of adolescent marijuana use and attitudes toward use in each state, as well as monitoring changes, may help policymakers continue to combat adolescent marijuana use, including efforts to raise awareness about the consequences of youth marijuana use and to improve prevention efforts.

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