Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Number of teens trying cannabis drops, new figures show

The number of 14 and 15 year olds who have tried cannabis has fallen by more than a quarter.

Authors of a new study said the decline was to be expected - previous studies into cannabis use amongst teens from 2001 to 2012 also showed a decline. Photo: Unsplash / Gras Grun


Statistics published in the New Zealand Medical Journal show in 2018, only 14 percent of Year 10 students have taken the drug - down from 19 percent in 2012.

The authors said the decline was to be expected - previous studies into cannabis use amongst teens from 2001 to 2012 also showed a decline.

"We know that cannabis trends are really closely tied to smoking trends and alcohol use," said research fellow at the University of Otago, Jude Ball.

She told RNZ's Morning Report it was based on an earlier study that showed that cannabis use had declined really substantially in high school students between 2001 and 2012.

"That decline is continuing in this age group, but it is slowing," she said.

"We knew that smoking and alcohol use have continued down in this age group."

But it's not because young people are now less interested in trying cannabis, but because "they're spending less face-to-face time with their friends in the evening".

"Obviously going out at night, young people are likely to try smoking, drinking, and trying drugs."

The findings were taken from the Youth Insights Survey, which makes up part of the New Zealand Youth Tobacco Monitor. Over 11,000 students participated in the survey over the six years.

Students then selected from four options: never use; ever use; past month use; and weekly use. The study showed the proportion of those who had never used increased from 80 percent to 85 percent.

Ball said the sharpest declines were seen among Māori and students who went to lower decile schools.

"The key point is it's not just among highly-educated families that we're seeing declines in drug use," she said.

"It's across the whole social spectrum, and that tends to suggest it's a more an environmental change - something in society as a whole, rather than educative messages."

Overall, it was a positive thing that drug use in the age group had fallen, she said.

While the research also points to more people trying use later on in life, "we know for sure that the earlier young people start, the greater the risk of harm in terms of addiction and educational impact and other harm.

"So it's a really good news from a public health point of view."

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Lockdown, Masks And Aerosol Transmission

Ironically, our relative success in suppressing the exponential spread of Covid-19 is only increasing the pressure to ease back from those measures, on a regional basis at least. We seem set on course to start tentatively emerging from lockdown in about ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Wage Cuts, And The Listener’s Demise

Various levels of across the board wage cuts – 10%? 15% ?- are being mooted for workers in some of our larger firms, in order to help the likes of Fletchers, Mediaworks etc survive the Covid-19 crisis. It is extraordinary that unions should be having ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics... More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog