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Long-term effects of minimum legal drinking age laws on marijuana and other illicit drug use in adulthood.

Apr 12, 2015  by 21bethere

Authors
Krauss MJ1, Cavazos-Rehg PA2, Agrawal A3, Bierut LJ2, Grucza RA2.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Exposure to permissive minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) laws (ability to purchase alcohol <21 years) during adolescence can have long-term effects, including heavy alcohol use or alcohol use disorders as adults. We examined whether exposure to permissive MLDA laws during adolescence has long-term effects on illicit drug use and disorders in adulthood.
 
METHODS:
Participants from the 2004-2012 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) were linked with historical state MLDA laws. Participants born in 1949-1972 (age 31-63 years at observation, n=110,300) were analyzed because they came of legal age for alcohol purchase when changes occurred in state MLDA laws. Logistic regression was used to model drug use measures as a function of exposure to permissive MLDA during adolescence, adjusting for state and birth-year fixed effects, demographics, and salient state characteristics.
 
RESULTS:
Rates of past month use, past year use, and abuse/dependence of marijuana were 4.7%, 7.8%, and 1.2%, respectively. Rates of past month use, past year use, and abuse/dependence of illicit drugs other than marijuana were 2.9%, 6.2%, and 0.7%, respectively. Among the full sample, exposure to permissive MLDA laws was not significantly associated with drug use or abuse/dependence in adulthood. Men exposed to permissive MLDA laws were at 20% increased odds of past year illicit drug use (aOR 1.20, 95% CI 1.09-1.32).
 
CONCLUSIONS:
Restricting alcohol access during adolescence did not increase long-term drug use. Allowing the purchase of alcohol among those less than 21 years of age could increase the risk of drug use later in life.
For Full paper go to…. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25707705  

 

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