New research has found that the future success of adolescents who use amphetamines and marijuana will not be adversely affected if they quit the habit before hitting age 30. The study found that people who stopped using these drugs in early adulthood didn’t have lower life quality or relationship or economic success.
The authors of the study explained that amphetamine and marijuana use and/or use disorder in adolescence didn’t appear to doom life success for individuals in adulthood, particularly for those who ceased using the drugs before the age of 30.
The findings of this study were published I”n Addiction Research & Theory.”
The researchers’ study objective was to find the extent to which the use of amphetamines and marijuana up to age 21 forecasted life success for an individual at age 30. Onset use in those who took part in the study ranged between 15 and 19 years.
For their study, the researchers utilized data from more than 2,300 children in Australia who were born to mothers who took part in the Mater-University of Queensland pregnancy study. These children were tested for delinquency/aggression, mental health and IQ at age 14. They were also interviewed at 21, where they self-reported their use of amphetamines and marijuana. They self-reported their use once more at age 30.
Researchers also carried out a composite measure of life success at age 30. This measure considered quality of intimate relationships, quality of life and socioeconomic status. Their findings showed that at 21 years, problematic marijuana use was lower at 18%, with 3% admitting to problematic use of both marijuana and amphetamines and 0.8% reporting only problematic amphetamine use.
With regard to those who reported problematic substance use, these issues persisted at age 30 for 60% of those on both marijuana and amphetamines and more than 35% of those who used marijuana.
In their report, the researchers noted that behavior problems in adolescence predicted drug use at age 21 as well as life success and drug use at age 30. The researchers also discovered a link between early-age onset use of amphetamines, marijuana or both, noting that concurrent use of marijuana at the age 30 follow up was strongly associated with life success.
In their report, the researchers also argued that prior research, which suggested that early-age onset of using these substances led to adverse outcomes when an individual was older, didn’t consider the possibility that it was the subsequent use of drugs which forecasted success in adult life.
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