|EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 1998
9:00 AM Eastern Time
Mona W. Brown|
Troubled Teens Risk Rapid Dependence on Marijuana
- 97 percent said they still used after realizing marijuana had become a problem for them;
- 85 percent noted that marijuana use interfered with driving and other situations at school, work, and home;
- 77 percent spent much time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of marijuana;
- 66 percent had given up important activities to use or acquire marijuana;
- 53 percent felt they had lost control and were using marijuana in larger amounts for longer periods than intended; and
- 35 percent wanted to cut back on use and had been unable to do so.
Most of the teens also reported that their behavioral problems predated, and were not initially caused by, their drug use.
Dr. Thomas Crowley, head of the research team conducting the study, cautions that these findings cannot be generalized to all adolescents. To be included in the study, youths had to have at least one diagnosis of drug dependence and three conduct disorder symptoms, including such things as frequent stealing, lying, running away, and, often, arrest. He points out, however, that, "About 825,000 youths were arrested and formally processed by juvenile courts in 1994. About 50 percent of these youths tested positive for marijuana at the time of arrest and many fit the profile of the teens in this study, making them at high risk for marijuana dependence."
This study is published in the spring issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, (Vol. 50,
NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute also carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at http://www.nida.nih.gov. Fact sheets on health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish, by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (-644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (-889-6432) for the deaf.