It is estimated that more than 3 million individuals were initiated into cannabis use in the United States during 2017. Similarly, just over a million people began using LSD and nearly 800,000 were initiated into ecstasy.
Until now, seasonality in the onset of drug use had not been studied. For this reason, a study has been carried out in the United States inquiring about the initiation of drug use throughout the months of the year, with summer being the most propitious period.
Drug use in USA
Here in USA, there are no data on the initiation of drug use, but there is data on its use over the last year. The latest survey alcohol and drug consumption (EDADES 2017/2018) of the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare estimates that the Spanish population aged 15 to 64 years has used drugs in the last 12 months, according to the following percentages:
Alcohol, 75.2% of the population.
Anfetaminas/speed, el 0,5 %.
Seasonality of drug use
The prevalence in the initiation of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis consumption is estimated to be higher in the summer months among adolescents and high school students. However, studies have not documented seasonality peaks in the initiation of drug use such as cocaine or hallucinogens.
Therefore, a study was carried out based on the national survey on drug use and health in the US (N = 394,415), in people over 12 years of age.
The study was conducted by researchers from the New York University School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, Columbia University (NY, USA).
The study was recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The study showed that initiation of the most important drugs was significantly more likely during the summer. Specifically, 30.4% (Standard error: 0.6) of cannabis use, 27.5 of cocaine (SE: 1.1), 34% (SE: 1.5) of LSD and 29.8% (EE: 1,2) for ecstasy.
More than a third of LSD use began in the summer months in the US. Similarly, about a quarter of cases of initiation to cannabis, cocaine, and ecstasy began during the warmer months.
Summer can lead to more susceptible individuals to initiation of drug use, perhaps due to more free time and more social activities that increase drug exposure. An example of this is the summer music festivals where drug use is very widespread.