Parental Marijuana Use Is Associated With Greater Likelihood of Kids’ Substance Use

Young People Smoking Marijuana

Marijuana use is increasing among adults and often co-occurs with other substance use; therefore, it is important to examine whether parental marijuana use is associated with an elevated risk of substance use among offspring living in the same household.

According to the results of the study, the bottom line is that recent and past use of marijuana by parents was associated with an increased risk of marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use by adolescent or young adult children living in the same household in this survey study.

Researchers examined data for 24,900 parent-child pairs from National Surveys on Drug Use and Health from 2015-2018. Parental marijuana use was a risk factor for marijuana and tobacco use by adolescent and young adult children and for alcohol use by adolescent children when researchers accounted for a variety of potential family and environmental factors. When those factors were considered, parental marijuana use wasn’t associated with opioid misuse by their children. The study has limitations, including that the surveys cannot provide a complete picture of family substance use.

Reference: “Associations of Parental Marijuana Use With Offspring Marijuana, Tobacco, and Alcohol Use and Opioid Misuse” by Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D.; Beth Han, MD, Ph.D., MPH; Wilson M. Compton, MD, MPE; Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH; Elizabeth I. Lopez, Ph.D.; Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, Ph.D., 22 November 2019, JAMA Network Open / Substance Use and Addiction.
DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16015

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