National Institute on Aging

A Rise in Simultaneous Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among African American College Students

A new study led by researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans finds that simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use among college students is on the rise across the country. Simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use is defined as using both at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other.

The survey includes responses from nearly 56,000 full-time college students ages 18 to 22. The study compared survey data from 2006-2019 when more states were increasingly legalizing marijuana use, including medical marijuana use, which was linked to increases in overall marijuana use among U.S adolescents and young adults.

While the simultaneous alcohol and marijuana prevalence rates of most racial/ethnic groups largely remained stable between 2006-2019, the study found an increase among Black students, especially between 2018-2019.

“This sharp increase in 2019 roughly coincided with and could possibly be attributable to the beginning of the widespread attention to racism and police brutality and the concomitant rise of feelings of distress around these issues in the Black/African American community,” the study says.

The full study, “Simultaneous Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among College Students in the United States, 2006–2019,” was published in the journal Addictive Behavior Reports. It may be accessed here.


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