Marijuana Addiction Trends In 1996

Marijuana addiction trends contine to increase in many of the Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG) cities since 1992, marijuana emergency department (ED) rates increased significantly in 9 CEWG cities and primary marijuana addiction treatment admissions increased slightly to moderately in at least 10 reporting areas since the previous reporting period.

Marijuana abuse is now the top-ranking primary drug in at least four areas, and it accounts for substantial proportions of nonalcohol admissions in at least three others. Among adult male arrestees, marijuana abuse now exceeds cocaine as the most frequently detected drug in eight of the CEWG cities in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Monitoring program (ADAM); moreover, in each of the seven CEWG cities where ADAM tests juvenile males, the percentage of positive urinalyses is much higher for juveniles than for adults. Marijuana addiction treatment demographics have similarly become increasingly youth dominated: the <17 age group now accounts for the largest percentages of marijuana admissions in at least eight areas. That age group also accounted for 20 percent or more of marijuana addiction ED mentions in seven of the CEWG cities in 1996. All age groups, however, are substantially represented in all indicators, both qualitative and quantitative. Youth often consume marijuana with malt liquor. In some cities, joints or blunts are also dipped in PCP, codeine cough syrup, or embalming fluid; sometimes they contain crack or cocaine HCl, or they are laced with heroin.

Information released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse