Jackie Nitschke Center: More young adults are binge drinking and using cannabis and psychedelics

(Green Bay, Wis.) – Counselors at the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay say a new report on the increased use of cannabis and psychedelics among young adults is not a surprise. The Monitoring the Future study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), showed an unprecedented spike in cannabis and psychedelic use by 19 to 30-year-olds in 2021.

“Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on everyone, including this age group, so that’s part of the story,” said Tina Marie Baeten, clinical supervisor at the Jackie Nitschke Center. “There’s also a mixed message that may be influencing this age group with cannabis now legal in 19 states. Cannabis use among children and adolescents has long been a concern with brain development, but the rate of development is still quite active in young adults.” 

The Monitoring the Future study found that 43% of young adults reported use of cannabis in 2021, an increase from 29% in 2011. Daily use also increased to 11% from 6% in 2011. The study also found an increase in binge drinking among young adults.

As for hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, psilocybin and peyote, the study found an increase to 8% last year after holding relatively steady for much of the past two decades.

Baeten adds that “When you put this all together, it is a very disturbing and dangerous trend; it’s certainly not going in the right direction. All of these things can have harmful effects on young brains and bodies. It’s more important than ever to address substance disorders as soon as possible, especially for young people.” 

For more information about substance disorders and treatment, visit the Jackie Nitschke Center website at www.jackienitschkecenter.org or call (920) 435-2093.