Parents might need to keep an even closer eye on their teens as a new study has shown that teenagers who heavily indulge in smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol are less likely to achieve success during adulthood. These habits during teenage years can interfere with education, getting a well-paid job, and marriage later in life.
The research was done by scientists from the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health) and presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo. The study involved 1,165 young adults from all over America. Their behaviors were first studied when they were 12, and then every two years until they were aged between 25 and 34. Most of the volunteers had a relative with a history of drinking problems too.
The researchers found that those who had an unhealthy relationship with marijuana or alcohol in their teen years found less success in education, were less likely to have a full-time job, were less likely to get married, and had lower socioeconomic potential.
"This study found that chronic marijuana use in adolescence was negatively associated with achieving important developmental milestones in young adulthood," said study author Dr Elizabeth Harari in a statement. "Awareness of marijuana's potentially deleterious effects will be important moving forward, given the current move in the US toward marijuana legalization for medicinal and possibly recreational use."
Interestingly, increased dependence on alcohol and marijuana had a bigger effect on the success of young men in comparison to young women. These young men achieved less across the four measures of success used in the study. Meanwhile, dependent women were less likely to get a degree, and more likely to have lower socioeconomic potential, than non-dependent women.
Past research has also shown that those dependent on alcohol in their youth can experience serious health problems later in life, even if they have gained control of their drinking habits. Therefore, it’s no surprise that staying away from heavy drinking and smoking marijuana is a good idea.