Teenagers are more likely to try drugs in the summer

A new study of adolescents and adults in the United States found that they are more likely to try illegal drugs for the first time during the summer.

The survey, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was conducted with 394, 000 Americans over the age of 12 who completed an annual drug use survey between 2011 and 2017. In the questionnaire, participants answered whether they used illegal drugs. like cannabis, LSD, cocaine and ecstasy and in what month and year they started using it.

It is during the American summer, between June and August, that most people try these drugs compared to other times of the year. One of the hypotheses of the researchers is that during the warmer season of the year people have more leisure time and also because during this time more social events such as parties and music festivals occur.

In the heat of the season

In the survey, 34% of respondents said they tried LSD for the first time in the last two years during the summer months. And among people who started using marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy recently, about 30% also started using it during the summer.

"Parents and educators who are concerned about their children need to educate them throughout the year about the potential risks associated with drug use, but a special emphasis seems to be needed before or during the summer months when initiation rates increase.", said study author Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at New York University School of Medicine, in a statement.

According to the study authors, more research will be needed to understand whether summer is a risk factor for drug initiation and the reasons why people use drugs for the first time.