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Daily marijuana use outpaces daily drinking in the US, a new study says

Daily marijuana use outpaces daily drinking in the US, a new study says
Marijuana plants are displayed at a shop in San Francisco, Monday, March 20, 2023. Daily and near-daily marijuana use is now more common than similar levels of high-frequency drinking in the U.S., according to an analysis of survey data over four decades, according to research published Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in the journal Addiction. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)ff

Millions of people in the U.S. report using marijuana daily or nearly every day, according to an analysis of national survey data, and those people now outnumber those who say they are daily or nearly-daily drinkers of alcohol.

Alcohol is still more widely used, but 2022 was the first time this intensive level of marijuana use overtook high-frequency drinking, said the study's author, Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.

"A good 40% of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with than typical alcohol use," Caulkins said.

The research, based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, was published Wednesday in the journal Addiction. The survey is a highly regarded source of estimates of tobacco, and drug use in the United States.

In 2022, an estimated 17.7 million people used marijuana daily or near-daily compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily drinkers, according to the study. From 1992 to 2022, the per capita rate of reporting daily or near-daily marijuana use increased 15-fold.

The trend reflects changes in . Most states now allow medical or , though it remains illegal at the federal level. In November, Florida voters will decide on a constitutional amendment allowing recreational cannabis, and the federal government is moving to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

Research shows that high-frequency users are more likely to become addicted to marijuana, said Dr. David A. Gorelick, a psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

The number of daily users suggests that more people are at risk for developing problematic cannabis use or addiction, Gorelick said.

"High frequency use also increases the risk of developing cannabis-associated psychosis," a severe condition where a person loses touch with reality, he said.

More information: Changes in self-reported cannabis use in the United States from 1979 to 2022, Addiction (2024). DOI: 10.1111/add.16519 onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.16519

Journal information: Addiction

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Citation: Daily marijuana use outpaces daily drinking in the US, a new study says (2024, May 22) retrieved 21 June 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-daily-marijuana-outpaces.html
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