Young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol less likely to achieve life goals, study finds

New research presented today at APHA's 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo examined the effect of marijuana use and dependence on life achievement in young adults. The study found that young adults dependent on marijuana and alcohol were less likely to achieve adult life goals, defined by the study as educational achievement, full-time employment, marriage and social economic potential.

Researchers with UConn Health examined data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Study subjects included 1,165 young adults, whose habits were first assessed at age 12 and then at two-year intervals until they were between 25 and 34 years old.

The study found that, overall, individuals who were dependent on both marijuana and alcohol showed lower levels of educational achievement, were less likely to be employed full time, were less likely to get married and had lower social economic potential.

Research also revealed that dependence may have a more severe effect on young men. Dependent young men saw less achievement across all four measurements, while dependent women were less likely to obtain a college degree and had lower social economic potential, but their likelihood of obtaining full-time employment or marrying was not significantly affected.

"This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood. Awareness of marijuana's potential deleterious effects will be important moving forward given the current move in the U.S. toward marijuana legalization for recreational/medicinal use," said study author Elizabeth Harari, MD. Harari's research was supported by Victor Hesselbrock, PhD, and Grace Chan, PhD.


  1. Mark Presley Mark Presley United States says:

    First doing a study stating the results are based on marijuana users and taking it from a database of alcohol users is not right even if hey had a dual presence in their system.  No statements about normalizing for any data. Nothing states how the study ruled out that drug use was a result of not achieving for other reasons.  In fact no link to the actual source here.  Poor irresponsible work.

  2. Semaj Namwen Semaj Namwen United States says:


  3. Jeffrey Newell Jeffrey Newell United States says:

    The study only shows a relationship between the early users and lower levels of educational achievement, less productivity, less relationship potential, etc. It indicates that early use of drugs and alcohol causes these issues. I believe that the problems of lower levels of educational achievement, less productivity, less relationship potential, are an indication of a problem that is only being self treated by drug and alcohol abuse. I firmly believe that the problem or difficult children are constantly shoved aside in favor of the "easy" kids, because they take too much effort to educate and mold into effective, efficient, and fulfilled citizens. This leads these children into a self medicating lifestyle in order to deal with the disenfranchisement perpetrated upon them by parents and educators who simply do not have the energy and time to deal with these "problem" children. I am not placing blame, I do understand that these kids take an inordinate amount time and other resources to meet the same goals as the "easy" kids. Every human innately wants to maximize their efforts. It is something that equals survival in the real world. However, I believe the efforts will for the most part prove to be worthwhile due to the heightened levels of sensitivity and performance that a properly handled "problem child" can realize. Although there will most certainly not be a %100 success rate, the R.O.I in the success column will prove to be most rewarding. As a parent or educator, you should not rate yourself on the success, only on the effort. In the end it will still be up to the individual to make the most of any given situation.

  4. Tommy Ray Pabst Tommy Ray Pabst United States says:

    Just figured that out huh?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
Study finds correlation between oral microbiome, alcohol metabolism, and hangover severity