High School Students Are Too Stoned to Binge DrinkS

A new study by the National Institutes of Health shows a 30-year high (LOL) in the incidence of marijuana usage among high school students, even while drinking and other drug use has declined. Don't they know that marijuana is a dangerous illegal drug, while alcohol is a perfectly legal way to talk to people at parties? There's a reason it's called "dope," you know.

The increase in marijuana use, the Times writes, coincides with a "growing perception among teenagers that habitual marijuana use carries little risk of harm," one that they've probably picked up from the general medical consensus that marijuana is among the least-harmful drugs to use, and also because you cannot die of marijuana poisoning or a marijuana overdose.

Meanwhile, use of alcohol and other drugs that can actually kill you while you use them is declining:

While interest in marijuana and synthetic marijuana has climbed, the willingness to try most other drugs has waned. The report found declines in the use of crack, cocaine, over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, sedatives, tranquilizers and prescription drugs like Adderall and the narcotic painkiller Vicodin. Some 1.7 percent of 10th graders and 2.6 percent of 12th graders reported using cocaine in 2011, for example, far fewer than in the 1980s or '90s. About 5 percent of 12th graders reported using ecstasy in 2011, an increase of about 1 percent from the previous year.

Heavy drinking among high school students has also fallen over the past 20 years, the report found. From 1991 to 2011, the proportion of eighth graders who reported drinking in the previous 30 days fell by about half, to 13 percent from 25 percent. Among 10th graders, it has fallen by more than a third, to 27 percent from 43 percent, and among 12th graders by about a fourth, to 40 percent from 54 percent. The percentage of students who reported binge drinking fell by a third, to 13.6 percent from 20 percent.

[NYT; image via Shutterstock ]