Marijuana use is on the decline among Indiana youth, as a new study finds that children in Grades 6-12 are continuing to partake in less of the drug than they did at its peak in 2008.

According to the 23rd Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use, while research indicates that marijuana use among young people continues to diminish, it is still a more popular drug than the infamous synthetic marijuana sold in many retail outlets under names like “Spice” and “K2.” - this drug was banned in Indiana in July 2011.

Synthetic marijuana is a relatively new drug that is being sold at stores as herbal incense," said Ruth Gassman, director of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University's School of Public Health-Bloomington. "The survey results suggest that synthetic marijuana is being used in conjunction with marijuana for youth across grade levels. This indicates that synthetic marijuana is not substituting marijuana, but is being used as an additional drug.

Additional findings prove that the prescription drug epidemic is just as much a problem among school age children as it is in adults. The study shows that as many as 14.3-percent of 12th-graders have used prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.

"The risk and protective factors that are used in our survey are predictive of a variety of harmful behaviors besides substance use, such as delinquency, violence and school dropout," said Gassman. "Both risk and protective factors are key concepts in public health; they are measured to assess what prevention programs should be used in a given school or community. Indiana Survey data is important to inform decisions that target policies, programs and practices to decrease risk factors and increase protective factors."

To read the full survey, click here.

23rd Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use
Indiana University

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