Development of Substance Use Disorders By Adolescents

"The prevalence of lifetime substance use among adolescents in 2018 was 26.3% (95% CI, 25.4-27.2) for alcohol, 15.4% (95% CI, 14.7-16.1) for cannabis, and 13.4% (95% CI, 12.7-14.1) for tobacco; among young adults in 2018, prevalence of lifetime substance use was 79.7% (95% CI, 78.9- 80.5) for alcohol, 51.5% (95% CI, 50.4-52.6) for cannabis, and 5.0% (95% CI, 53.9-56.1) for tobacco. Prevalence of SUDs differed by substance, age group, and time since initiation. Adjusted prevalence of cannabis use disorder was higher among adolescents than among young adults within 12 months of initiation (10.7%; 95% CI, 9.3-12.3 vs. 6.4%; 95% CI, 5.2-7.9) and at more than 36 months (20.1% [95% CI, 18.0-22.3] vs. 10.9% [95% CI, 10.3-11.4]) (Table). Prevalence of alcohol use disorder and nicotine dependence did not differ between the 2 groups within 12 months of initiation but was higher for young adults in subsequent periods.

"Among young adults, prevalence of lifetime cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin use in 2018 was 11.4% (95% CI, 10.7-12.1), 2.5% (95% CI, 2.2-2.8), and 1.3% (95% CI, 1.1-1.5), respectively. Within 12 months of initiation, adjusted prevalence was higher for methamphetamine use disorder (24.8% [95% CI, 16.8-34.9]) and heroin use disorder (30.9% [95% CI, 20.6-43.4]) than for cocaine use disorder (5.6% [95% CI, 4.2-7.4]). Estimates for adolescents were not reported owing to limited samples.

"Prevalence of lifetime misuse of prescription drugs in 2014 was 9.2% (95% CI, 8.7-9.7) among adolescents and 26.3% (95% CI, 25.4-27.2) among young adults. Among the population with lifetime misuse, adjusted prevalence of prescription opioid use disorder, prescription stimulant use disorder, and prescription tranquilizer use disorder were consistently higher for adolescents than for young adults (Figure). Prevalence since time of initiation for adolescents was stable for prescription opioid use disorder and decreased for prescription stimulant use disorder and prescription tranquilizer use disorder, whereas for young adults, prevalence increased for prescription opioid use disorder and was stable for prescription stimulant use disorder and prescription tranquilizer use disorder."

Source: 

Volkow ND, Han B, Einstein EB, Compton WM. Prevalence of Substance Use Disorders by Time Since First Substance Use Among Young People in the US. JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 29, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6981