Teens may be finding it more difficult to get booze these days, but it ain’t no thang … because they’re all getting high instead. With ever increasing frequency, too, apparently.
The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey of 47,000 teenagers in the U.S. revealed that alcohol use is at an historic low and marijuana smoking is up in 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders for the fourth year in a row.
Jezebel, in their reporting of the study, wonders if the rise in smoking has something to do with the decline in teenage pregnancy. We know teens like sex just as much as they used to, so maybe the physical side effects of getting baked too often really are at play …
Forget The Dead Kennedys’ eighties ode to alcohol-soaked partying Too Drunk To F**k. Teens need a new anthem — something along the lines of: So High My Sperm Count’s Low?
According to the report, marijuana use has been on the rise for the past three years, although the percentages seem to be holding steady among 8th-graders. Across the three grades, 25% reported having gotten high in the last year, compared to 24.5% last year, “but the increase since 2007, from 21.4% to 25%, is highly statistically significant.”
Seniors had the highest use rates, with 6.6%, or one in every fifteen, reporting they had gotten high at least 20 days out of the past 30. “And that’s the highest rate that we have seen over the past thirty years — since 1981,” says Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study.
Personally, I’d like to see a breakdown of the stats by gender. Maybe all this talk about men being in trouble has gotten to our young men and getting baked seems like the easiest way to deal with the lowered expectations for their generation. Or maybe it’s got nothing to do with socio-psychologizing and everything to do with the fact that it’s just plain hard to for teens to get their hands on alcohol these days. Combine that with zero-tolerance laws for drivers under-21 that are caught with alcohol, higher beer taxes, a decline in the “perceived risk” of smoking marijuana, and a rise in acceptance of pot use among teen peers — and it really isn’t a surprise that pot is becoming the drug of choice for teenagers, at all.
Now if we could just get some studies that show links between marijuana use and getting into Ivy League schools, achieving long-term financial success, and becoming productive members of society — maybe the government could legalize it, tax it, and use the money to fix all the financial problems in the U.S. Ha! I must be stoned to even suggest it …
Photo Credit: © Aleksandrs Jermakovi – Fotolia.com
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