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U.S. Hallucinogen Use Up Overall, Down Among Teens

Overall, LSD use up, while ecstasy and PCP use down

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hallucinogen use in the United States has increased among adults 26 years and older and decreased among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in Addiction.

Ofir Livne, M.D., M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues used data from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 to 2019) to assess overall and age-specific time trends in the prevalence of 12-month hallucinogen use.

The researchers found that overall, hallucinogen use increased between 2015 and 2019 (prevalence difference [PD], 0.44). Hallucinogen use increased since 2002 in adults aged 26 years and older (2002 to 2014: PD, 0.24; 2015 to 2019: PD, 0.45) but decreased in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (2002 to 2014: PD, −1.60; 2015 to 2019: PD, −0.73). There were decreases observed in ecstasy use among adolescents (2002 to 2014: PD, −0.56), adults aged 18 to 25 years (2015 to 2019: PD, −0.96), and adults aged 26 years and older (2015 to 2019: PD, −0.13). There were increases seen in LSD use between 2002 and 2019 overall (PD, 0.71) and across age groups (12 to 17 years: PD, 0.67; 18 to 25 years: PD, 3.12; 26 years and older: PD, 0.36), while PCP use decreased between 2002 and 2019 overall (PD, –0.06), in adolescents (PD, –0.24), and in young adults (PD, –0.32).

“Given the recent media coverage showing that an increasing number of adults may be reporting positive effects of ‘microdosing’ and expecting therapeutic benefits of hallucinogens without negative effects, our findings merit a comprehensive examination of time trends and motives for hallucinogen frequency and quantity of use,” Livne said in a statement.

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