American Teenagers No Longer Prefer Alcohol as the Main Drug

American Teenagers No Longer Prefer Alcohol as the Main Drug
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Being a teenager is not always all fine and dandy, and looking for a refugee in booze or drugs is just one step ahead if they don’t get enough emotional support and if they lack enough wisdom. Teenagers are also at the right age to be eager to stand out, be antisocial, and impress others, and that’s another reason why young people embrace unhealthy vices.

The authors of a new study wanted to find out what is the main drug that young people from America prefer nowadays. While it was once alcohol, it has been discovered now that another drug has taken the leading role in recent years. To come to the new shocking conclusion, researchers analyzed data gathered over the course of two decades of teenagers and school children who had to seek medical help as a result of their unhealthy actions.

A massive increase in cannabis abuse among young Americans in the 21st century

The new study in question that appears in Clinical Toxicology informs the world that cannabis abuse among American teenagers has increased after the year 2000 by an incredible 245 percent. As you’ve already guessed, weed became the main drug preferred by American teenagers.

One problem that led to the increase in weed consumption among young Americans might be the fact that more and more foods containing cannabis products are becoming available. 

Adrienne Hughes, an emergency physician and a medical toxicologist from the Oregon Health and Science University, explained:

These edible and vaping products are often marketed in ways that are attractive to young people, and they are considered more discrete and convenient,

Compared to smoking cannabis, which typically results in an immediate high, intoxication from edible forms of marijuana usually takes several hours, which may lead some individuals to consume greater amounts and experience unexpected and unpredictable highs.

But there are other factors as well that likely contributed to the wider consumption of weed. Let’s not forget that the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in almost half of the US for adults. But even if minors don’t have the legal right to consume weed in the US, it’s obvious that at least some of the young ones won’t always play by the rules. Furthermore, the public’s perception regarding weed, in general, has changed because of the new law.  

Smoking is bad for the lungs

Without considering the new research in question, we know that scientists and doctors acknowledge the harmfulness that smoking can pose for any person’s lungs. It doesn’t even matter if the smoker inhales gases from the burning of marijuana, tobacco, or wood. Combustion of materials release carcinogens and toxins that will enter the smoker’s lungs. 

There is no such thing as safe smoking, regardless of what you smoke. Weed consumption will lead to a higher risk of lung infections, as well as daily cough and phlegm. 

As for the long-term effects of marijuana smoking when it comes to brain health, here’s an interesting quote coming from the official website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Marijuana affects brain development. Developing brains, such as those in babies, children, and teenagers, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although scientists are still learning about the effects of marijuana on developing brains, studies suggest that marijuana use by mothers during pregnancy could be linked to problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior in their children.

Another one of the interesting facts about cannabis use is that it dates back roughly 12,000 years. The use of cannabis has its origins in parts from central Asia or western China.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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