Research published by the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealed how adults in the United States have doubled their marijuana consumption from 4.1 percent to 9.5 percent between 2001-2013.
These surveys were already conducted in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. 79,000 people were interviewed on alcohol use, drug use and related psychiatric conditions. The study revealed how the consumption of marijuana increased in the U.S. in the last years. Researchers explained that this situation also brought an increase of abuse and dependence.
“As is the case with alcohol, many individuals can use marijuana without becoming addicted […] what was quite clear is the prevalence of use among adults had more than doubled,” said Deborah Hasin, the study’s lead author from Columbia University in New York.
The new study
This study suggested education about the potential harms of marijuana use, including the risk for addiction. They compared the data from the 43,000 people interviewed between 2001-2002 and the 36,000 interviewed between 2012 and 2013. They realized particular increase among women, black and Hispanic individuals, people from the south of the country and middle- aged or older.
The market of marijuana and its consumption didn’t present clear variations since thay last survey. This survey revealed that the increase of its consumption may be attributed to a substantial increase in marijuana use overall.
“It’s possible to become dependent on marijuana but not in a physically addictive way that will cause the type of physical withdrawal you will see with harder drugs,” said Evan Nison, a board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, to Medical Daily.
Furthermore, this survey revealed a new reality: about 6.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with marijuana disorders. Meaning that if marijuana consumers keep growing so will the number of those with marijuana use disorders. According to researchers, measures seems to be more than necessary.
“Research is needed on individual and social factors that place individuals at risk for marijuana-related consequences, and how these can be prevented,” said Dr. Hasin in an interview.