Cannabis use among teens is on the rise in some developing countries

November 22, 2013, Wiley

It's common to associate cannabis use with affluent youth in wealthy societies. But the relationship between societal and family affluence and cannabis use appears to be changing. A study published online today in the scientific journal Addiction reveals that cannabis use is declining in rich countries but stable or increasing in developing countries.

The study looked at cannabis use among 15-year-old adolescents in thirty European and North American countries in 2002, 2006, and 2010. The overall results showed a significant decline in cannabis use. Affluent countries in Western and Southern Europe and North America (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, USA) showed a decrease in frequent cannabis consumption among 15-year-old boys and/or girls.

But the emerging market countries that have recently experienced a rapid increase in their GDP showed stable or increasing cannabis use. In three of the twelve former communist countries in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe, cannabis use increased among boys (FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and in one, it increased among girls (Russia). In the remaining nine countries, cannabis use among 15-year-olds appears to have stabilized over time. Adolescents from less affluent countries seem to have adopted consumption patterns consistent with their peers in richer countries.

The recent decrease in cannabis use in richer countries and among higher socioeconomic status groups could be explained by the recently increased attention on the harmful effects of substance use for young people and the subsequent implementation of public health prevention measures aimed at reducing substance use. Thus, while wealth in earlier decades fostered adolescent substance use due to increased opportunities for use, nowadays, national health policies in wealthy may have contributed to the observed decrease of adolescent use.

Explore further: Regular cocaine and cannabis use may trigger addictive behaviours

More information: Bogt TFM ter, Looze M de, Molcho M, Godeau E, Hublet A, Kokkevi A, Kuntsche E, Gabhainn SN, Franelic IP, Simons-Morton B, Sznitman S, Vieno A, Vollebergh W, and Pickett W. Do societal wealth, family affluence, and gender account for trends in adolescent cannabis use?: A 30-country cross-national study. Addiction, 108: DOI: 10.1111/add.12373

Related Stories

Regular cocaine and cannabis use may trigger addictive behaviours

October 28, 2013
New cocaine and cannabis research reveals that regular cannabis users have increased levels of impulsive behaviour. It had previously been argued that this increased impulsivity after cannabis administration was only experienced ...

Study demonstrates link between reclassification of cannabis and cannabis psychosis

July 18, 2013
Researchers from the University of York have demonstrated that the change in cannabis declassification in 2009 has coincided with a significant increase in hospital admissions for cannabis psychosis - rather than the decrease ...

Cannabis use doubles chances of vehicle crash

February 9, 2012
Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol claims a paper published today in the British ...

CAMH study shows mental illness associated with heavy cannabis use

April 2, 2013
People with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who studied ...

Long-term cannabis use may blunt the brain's motivation system

July 1, 2013
Long-term cannabis users tend to produce less dopamine, a chemical in the brain linked to motivation, a study has found.

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.