247507 Predictors of gateway between adolescent marijuana use and adult drug use

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Allison O'Neill, MA , School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD
Maria Khan, PhD , School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Amanda Berger, MA , School of Public Health, Family Science Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Jordana Hemberg , School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD
Title: Predictors of Gateway between Adolescent Marijuana Use and Adult Drug Use Introduction: Gateway theory predicts that the use of marijuana in adolescence may increase the risk of use of harder drugs later in life. This project seeks to test the gateway hypothesis using a large nationally representative dataset, and test which adolescent characteristics may predict which individuals follow the gateway progression. Methods: Data from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Youth (Add Health) were used (n=14,322). Logistic regression was used to predict drug use in adulthood from marijuana use in adolescence, and then to test which adolescent characteristics (including parental alcohol use, social support, and mental health) predict which adolescents who try marijuana will try harder drugs in adulthood. Results: Ever use of marijuana in adolescence was positively correlated with drug use in adulthood after adjusting for age at Wave I, race, and gender. Those who had tried marijuana in adolescence were about 3 times more likely to have used marijuana, about 4 times more likely to have used cocaine, and about 5 times more likely to have used meth in the past year as an adult (at Wave III). Results of the second part of the project are pending and will be complete at time of the conference. Conclusions: Adolescents who use marijuana may be more likely to use marijuana and other drugs as an adult.

Learning Areas:
Epidemiology
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare the relationships between marijuana use in adolescence and use of different hard drugs later in life. Evaluate the contribution of individual, parental, and environmental characteristics to an individualís likelihood of following the gateway path to hard drug use in adulthood.

Keywords: Marijuana, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the resesarch
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.