Recent data suggests that approximately half of all people who use marijuana shift into additional forms of drug use, based on a study conducted by a group of Spanish and American researchers.
Marijuana is regarded as the most-used drug in the United States, used by more than 70 percent of all people who take illicit substances in the United States.
In 2013, a study showed that in a typical day, 19.8 million people in America consume marijuana in a month. This result is far different from a 2007 survey which found that there were only 14.4 million marijuana users in the United States.
The result also indicates that people in their late teens have a higher chance of marijuana consumption compared to younger teenagers or adults younger than 29 years of age.
In a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP), Columbia University together with the University of Oviedo launched a project called the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to assess how regularly people who use only marijuana shift into using other drugs and illegal medications, involving more than 6,000 participants.
The researchers used the gathered information from the project to classify related predictors of additional medication usage in marijuana consumers. The outcome showed that all of the participants from the NESARC were noted to have consumed or used marijuana before trying to use another illegal medication or substance.
Based on the data, the researchers found that 44.7 percent of the people who started out as marijuana users turned to other illegal drugs. They also found that there are numerous factors as to why marijuana consumers develop an expanded pattern and series of drug intake. Identified factors include: having mentally-related problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral irregularity, depression and anxiety, and other related oppressive issues in connection with marijuana use.
Professor David Ferguson, a researcher from Otago University, found a definite tendency for those marijuana users to record increased usage of other illicit drugs. He concluded that many factors play into increased drug usage include marijuana usage leading to experimentation with other drugs, exposure to drug dealers, and the ability to change a person’s brain chemistry.