Study: Adult-Use Legalization Associated with Decline in Youth Treatment Admissions

Study: Adult-Use Legalization Associated with Decline in Youth Treatment Admissions

The enactment of adult-use cannabis legalization laws is not associated with an increase in marijuana-related youth drug treatment admissions, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. A pair of researchers from Temple University assessed annual drug treatments admissions among youth for the years 2008 to 2017. Investigators reported: “Over all states in the analysis, the rate of adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use declined significantly over the study period, with the mean rate falling nearly in half. The decline in admissions rate was greater in Colorado and Washington compared to non-RML (recreational marijuana law) states” following the enactment of adult-use legalization policies. Authors speculated that a variety of factors could have influenced the decrease in admissions, including potential changes in youth use patterns and/or shifts in cultural attitudes toward marijuana consumption in general. They concluded: “To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the effect of recreational legalization of marijuana in the US on adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use. Our results indicate that RML in Colorado and Washington was not associated with an increase in treatment admissions. Rather, we observe a substantial decline in admissions rates across US states, with evidence suggesting a greater decline in Colorado/Washington following RML as compared to non-RML states. … While we are encouraged that rates of new treatment admissions for marijuana use among adolescents exhibited a general decline in the states we examined, it is unclear whether this finding reflects trends in the prevalence of CUD (cannabis use…

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Source : norml
Link to original : Study: Adult-Use Legalization Associated with Decline in Youth Treatment Admissions
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