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Substance use among adults


Are your patients using? NIH survey shows numbers are trending up in groups aged 19 to 30 and 35 to 50 years.

Use of marijuana and hallucinogens hit record highs for adults aged 35 to 50 years in 2020.

The latest figures were published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study, an annual survey of substance use behaviors by adults aged 19 to 60 years old.

Adults younger than 30 years and adults aged 35 to 50 years showed different use patterns. But one thing is clear: Substance use is not necessarily slowing down as patients grow older.

“Substance use is not limited to teens and young adults, and these data help us understand how people use drugs across the lifespan,” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow, MD, said in a news release. NIDA is part of NIH and it funds the study, which is conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

“Understanding these trends is a first step, and it is crucial that research continues to illuminate how substance use and related health impacts may change over time,” Volkow said. “We want to ensure that people from the earliest to the latest stages in adulthood are equipped with up-to-date knowledge to help inform decisions related to substance use.”

What age groups are using what substances? Click on the slideshow to learn more.

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