A continuous decline for ten years, accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The consumption of cannabis, tobacco and alcohol among third year students has fallen since the start of the health crisis, according to a study published on Wednesday January 12 by the French Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT).
Based on a survey carried out by an anonymous questionnaire among 2,000 third year students during the first quarter of 2021, the director of the OFDT, Julien Morel d’Arleux, was able to observe that the Covid-19 had played an indirect role in this decrease. “There were fewer parties, less opportunity to socialize, which undoubtedly delayed the experiments”, analyzed the latter for AFP.
This decline in the age of experimentation with tobacco, cannabis and alcohol “has a protective effect on young people” according to the boss of the OFDT since research has shown that the more consumers start young, the greater the risk. addiction was high. According to a study published by Inserm a few days ago, the earlier the consumption of cannabis, the greater the risk of being unemployed as an adult.
Describing an “encouraging” development in this area, Julien Morel d’Arleux indicated that the emergence of the coronavirus in France has “accentuated the downward trends that have been observed for ten years” concerning tobacco consumption, alcohol and cannabis.
A reduction in figures for the three substances
In fact, the number of third year students who have never drunk alcohol has fallen sharply, from 16.8% in 2010 to 35.9% in 2021 according to this study. Considered the preferred psychoactive substance for this age group, alcohol was experienced by 64.1% of these students in 2021, up from 75.3% in 2018.
This downward trend was also observed for tobacco, with 29.1% of these adolescents declaring to have already smoked a cigarette in 2021, against 37.5% in 2018 and 51.8% in 2010. During the last eleven years , the daily tobacco consumption among the third year students was divided by four.
While 47% of those under 25 said they had already smoked cannabis according to a survey by the Ifop institute in December 2021, the students interviewed by the OFDT seemed spared. Only 9.1% of them took the test, against 16.1% in 2018 and 23.9% in 2010.
On the other hand, the use of electronic cigarettes has become more democratic among this segment of the population, with 34.2% of young people questioned admitting to having experienced it in 2021.