Characteristics of New Marijuana Users by morgossi7a8

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									                                                                                                                              January 24, 2003




Characteristics of New
Marijuana Users

                                                                              M
                                                                                            arijuana is the most widely used
                          In Brief                                                          illicit drug, and it is usually the
                                                                                            first drug used by persons who
     ●    In 2000, 2.4 million                                                use illicit drugs.1 The National Household
          persons used marijuana                                              Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) asks
                                                                              respondents aged 12 or older questions about
          for the first time
                                                                              their use of marijuana or hashish and other
     ●    In 1998 and 1999, more                                              illicit and licit substances. For each
          than a quarter of                                                   substance ever used, respondents are asked
                                                                              when they first used the substance. These
          marijuana initiates were                                            data are used to study patterns and trends in
          14 or younger. The                                                  drug initiation, or first time use.
          average age was 17
     ●    Almost 60 percent of                                                Trends in Marijuana Initiation
          recent marijuana initiates                                              The number of annual marijuana initiates
          in 1998 and 1999 had                                                increased from 1.5 million in 1991 to around
          used both cigarettes and                                            2.5 million from 1996 (Figure 1). There has
                                                                              been no significant change in the number
          alcohol prior to using
                                                                              since 1996. An estimated 2.4 million
          marijuana                                                           persons used marijuana for the first time in
                                                                              2000, the most recent estimate available.


The NHSDA Report is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA.
Additional copies of this report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available on-line: http://www.DrugAbuseStatistics.samhsa.gov.
Citation of the source is appreciated.
NHSDA REPORT: CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW MARIJUANA USERS                                                                                                   January 24, 2003




Demographic                                  Figure 1. Estimated Numbers (in Thousands) of Persons Who First Used
Characteristics of Recent                    Marijuana During the Years 1990 to 2000
Marijuana Initiates
A study of recent marijuana initiates
                                             3,000
(persons who used marijuana for the
first time in 1998 or 1999) found            2,500
that 51 percent were male and more           2,000
than a quarter were age 14 or
                                             1,500
younger. The average age of
marijuana initiates was 17 years.            1,000
(Figure 2)                                      500

                                                   0




                                                                                                                                               1999*

                                                                                                                                                         2000**
                                                             1990

                                                                      1991

                                                                               1992

                                                                                           1993

                                                                                                    1994

                                                                                                            1995

                                                                                                                     1996

                                                                                                                               1997

                                                                                                                                       1998
Seasonality of Marijuana
Initiation
                                                                                                           Year
In 1998 and 1999, the estimated
number of males who were
marijuana initiates peaked at over
4,000 per day in June and July
(Figure 3). Among females, peaks             Figure 2. Percentages of Recent Marijuana Initiates By Age of First
occurred in January (over 3,500) and         Marijuana Use
July (over 3,600).
                                            20%
Prior Cigarette or Alcohol
Use by Recent Marijuana                                                               15.1
                                                                                             14.2
                                            15%
Initiates                                                                    12.7
                                                                                                    11.3
Almost 60 percent of marijuana                                        9.3
                                            10%                                                            9.0
initiates in 1998 and 1999 had used
both cigarettes and alcohol prior to                                                                                                                              5.5
                                                                                                                   5.0
using marijuana (Figure 4).2 Almost          5%
                                                                4.4                                                      4.0
17 percent of recent marijuana                                                                                                 2.7
                                                                                                                                      1.8 1.3
                                                       1.5                                                                                    1.2 1.0
initiates had used alcohol but not
cigarettes prior to their marijuana          0%
use, and 15 percent used cigarettes                 <12         12    13 14           15      16    17     18 19         20    21     22      23 24       25 25 >
but not alcohol. Approximately 9                                                                            Age
percent of recent initiates had used
neither cigarettes nor alcohol prior
to their marijuana use.
    Recent marijuana initiates who
used marijuana for the first time
before the age of 15 were more likely                                                                               had also initiated marijuana use. According to
                                          End Notes                                                                 NHSDA data, in 1998 and 1999, 62 percent of
to have used marijuana before using
                                                                                                                    persons who had used both alcohol and
cigarettes or alcohol (17 percent)        1. Gfroerer, J.C., Wu, L.-T. & Penne, M.A. (2002).
                                                                                                                    cigarettes in their lifetime had not initiated
                                             Initiation of marijuana use: Trends, patterns,
than those who had tried marijuana           and implications (DHHS Publication No. SMA
                                                                                                                    marijuana use.

for the first time at the age of 15 or       02-3711, Analytic Series A-17). Rockville, MD:
                                             Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
older (15 to 17 years old, 9 percent;        Administration, Office of Applied Studies.
18 to 20 years old, 4 percent; 21 or      2. It is important to note that not all persons who
older, 1 percent).                           had used cigarettes and alcohol in their lifetime
January 24, 2003                                                                                                   NHSDA REPORT: CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW MARIJUANA USERS



                                                                                                                                  The National Household Survey on Drug
  Figure 3. Estimated Average Number of Males and Females Who Were                                                                Abuse (NHSDA) is an annual survey
  Recent Marijuana Initiates Per Day for Each Month                                                                               sponsored by the Substance Abuse and
                                                                                                                                  Mental Health Services Administration
                                                                                                                                  (SAMHSA). The 1999, 2000, and 2001 data
  5,000                                                                                                                           are based on information obtained from
                                                                                 Males                      Females
                                                                                                                                  approximately 70,000 persons aged 12 or
                                                                                                                                  older per year. The survey collects data by
  4,000                                                                                                                           administering questionnaires to a
                                                                                                                                  representative sample of the population
                                                                                                                                  through face-to-face interviews at their place
  3,000                                                                                                                           of residence.
                                                                                                                                  The NHSDA Report is prepared by the Office
  2,000                                                                                                                           of Applied Studies (OAS), SAMHSA, and by
                                                                                                                                  RTI in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
                                                                                                                                  Information and data for this issue are based
  1,000                                                                                                                           on the following publications and statistics:
                                                                                                                                  Gfroerer, J.C., Wu, L.-T., & Penne, M.A.
       0                                                                                                                          (2002). Initiation of marijuana use: Trends,
                                          April




                                                                                September
                                                                       August
                                                        June
                                                  May




                                                                                                        November

                                                                                                                   December
                                  March




                                                                July
             January




                                                                                              October
                       February




                                                                                                                                  patterns, and implications (DHHS Publication
                                                                                                                                  No. SMA 02-3711, Analytic Series A-17).
                                                                                                                                  Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental
                                                                                                                                  Health Services Administration, Office of
                                                                                                                                  Applied Studies.
                                                                                                                                  Office of Applied Studies. (2002). Results
                                                                                                                                  from the 2001 National Household Survey on
                                                                                                                                  Drug Abuse: Volume I. Summary of national
                                                                                                                                  findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 02-3758,
  Figure 4. Percentages of Recent Marijuana Initiates Reporting Cigarette                                                         NHSDA Series H-17). Rockville, MD:
  or Alcohol Use Prior to Marijuana Initiation                                                                                    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
                                                                                                                                  Administration.
                                                                                                                                  Office of Applied Studies. (2001). Summary
                                                        Neither Cigarettes                                                        of findings from the 2000 National Household
                                                                                                                                  Survey on Drug Abuse (DHHS Publication No.
                                                          nor Alcohol,
                                                                                                                                  SMA 01-3549, NHSDA Series H-13).
                                                              9.1%
                                                                                                                                  Rockville, MD: Author.
                                                                                                                                  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
                                                                                Cigarettes but not                                Administration. (2000). Summary of findings
                                                                                    Alcohol,                                      from the 1999 National Household Survey on
                                                                                     14.8%                                        Drug Abuse (DHHS Publication No. SMA 00-
                                                                                                                                  3466, NHSDA Series H-12). Rockville, MD:
                                                                                                                                  Author.
   Both Cigarettes                                                                                                                Also available on-line:
    and Alcohol,                                                                                                                  http://www.DrugAbuseStatistics.samhsa.gov.
       59.5%
                                                                                                                                  Additional tables available upon request.
                                                                                            Alcohol but not
                                                                                             Cigarettes,
                                                                                                16.6%
                                                                                                                                   U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
                                                                                                                                       Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
                                                                                                                                                                     Office of Applied Studies
                                                                                                                                                                              www.samhsa.gov




                                                                  marijuana is less than 2 years. The average
Figure Notes                                                      number of initiates per day was calculated by
                                                                  applying the percentage distribution of the
* Estimated using 2000 and 2001 data only.
                                                                  month of first marijuana use among persons
** Estimated using 2001 data only.                                aged 12 or older to the estimated number of
Note: Recent initiates are persons who used                       initiates in 1998 and 1999 and adjusting for the
  marijuana for the first time in 1998 or 1999.                   number of days in each month.

Note: Estimates are based on respondents                       Source: (Figure 1) SAMHSA 1999–2001 NHSDAs.
  who gave a substantive response to the                       Source: (all remaining figures) SAMHSA 1999–
  month of first use question; hence, only                       2000 NHSDAs.
  those current age and age of first using

								
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