Marijuana use among college-aged adults at historic high

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Marijuana use is on the rise among college-aged students, according to a new study that examined data from 2020.

The report comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It found that marijuana use continued to rise among college students over the last five years and now sits at historic levels among other adults in the same age group. In Wisconsin, experts say the pandemic and mental health are big factors.

Kevin Florek is the CEO and President at Tellurian, which provides services for substance use and mental health. Florek says the pandemic has created many mental health challenges for people.

“There’s a lot of folks out there who are self medicating and a lot of the college students are self medicating with marijuana,” said Florek.

Florek says the isolation has caused increased in anxiety and depression levels and the need for mental health treatment is growing. “There’s a need for mental health treatment but not a lot of providers. It has left college students to fend for themselves so they’re using other means like drugs or alcohol,” said Florek.

Along with mental health, Florek says easier access to marijuana is a major factor. “It’s not even looked upon as much a crime here in Wisconsin. We hear all the time people just drive down to Illinois or Michigan and they can buy it there legally,” Florek says.

If you’re struggling with substance use and need help, you can contact Tellurian at 608-222-7311.

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