Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens at Lowest Rate Since 1990s: Study

American teens’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco has declined to the lowest rate since the 1990s, according to an annual nationwide study.

The Monitoring the Future study found marijuana use declined this year among 8th- and 10th graders, but remains flat among 12th graders, USA Today reports.

Full story of teen drug and alcohol use lowest since 1990 at drugfree.org

Teens With Traumatic Brain Injury More Likely to Drink, Use Marijuana: Study

Teenagers who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk of using marijuana, drinking alcohol and smoking, a new study finds. They are also at risk of getting poor grades, HealthDay reports.

The researchers defined a TBI as a blow to the head that resulted in the teen being knocked out for at least five minutes, or spending at least one night in the hospital due to symptoms associated with the injury.

“This is a wake-up call. Concussions are brain injuries, and we need parents and physicians to become more vigilant,” said lead author Gabriela Ilie of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “Our brains define who we are, and a lot of our behaviors and thoughts and emotions depend on our brain circuitry operating properly.”

Full story of teens with TBI and alcohol at drugfree.org

Marijuana Use on the Rise in U.S. but Decreasing Globally: U.N. Report

Marijuana use is increasing in the United States as Americans change their attitude about the drug’s risks, according to a new report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Globally, marijuana use seems to be decreasing.

The number of Americans ages 12 or older who used marijuana at least once in the previous year increased to 12.1 percent in 2012, from 10.3 percent in 2008, Reuters reports. More Americans are seeking help for marijuana-related disorders.

It is too early to understand the impact of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state and Colorado, the report noted. “For youth and young adults, more permissive cannabis regulations correlate with decreases in the perceived risk of use, and lowered risk perception has been found to predict increases in use,” the UNODC wrote.

Full story of global and U.S. marijuana usage at drugfree.org