Research & Resources

Simultaneous Use of Marijuana and Alcohol: Potential Prevention Targets Among Young Adults

To identify intervention and prevention targets specific to simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use (SAM), researchers examined the relationships between alcohol- and marijuana-specific beliefs and attitudes (risk factors) and self-reported SAM compared to non-simultaneous co-use (CAM) and alcohol use only in the past 30 days in a sample of 1,023 young adults. Of those who reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, 66.6 percent reported using only alcohol, 20.7 percent reported SAM, and 12.6 percent reported CAM. Analyses indicated that some marijuana-specific risk factors (e.g., belief that it is not at all wrong for someone their age to use marijuana) differentiated SAM or CAM from alcohol use only, but alcohol-specific risk factors generally did not. However, the perceptions that parents approved of their marijuana use or frequent heavy drinking were associated with a greater likelihood of SAM compared to CAM. Findings point to individual attitudes and beliefs around marijuana use and the perception of parental approval of heavy drinking and marijuana use as potential targets for prevention programs targeting risk reduction among young adults.

This paper, “Simultaneous use of marijuana and alcohol: Potential prevention targets among young adults who use alcohol,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

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