According to a new study published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, cannabis is almost as addictive as opioids among teenage users.
The study of drugs and youth has found that teenagers’ addiction rates for the plant are about the same as they are for opioid prescriptions.
After a year from first trying marijuana, nearly 10.7% of adolescents age 12 to 17 met the criteria of addiction said the study. Those in the same age group who tried prescription opioids had a similar addiction rate of 11.2%.
The rates of addiction were significant since teenagers’ brains are still developing says Nora Volkow, an author of the study. Volkow is also the current director of the U.S.’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“One in 10 teens having a marijuana addiction — that’s huge,” Volkow said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
Volkow also added that by using marijuana, it gives the teenagers a higher chance of becoming addicted to other drugs later on.
The study found that if users were younger when first trying the plant and other drugs, they were more than likely to become addicted.
Data found that with users in the 18-to-25 age range, only 6.4% developed an addiction a year after first trying cannabis. This is roughly half the rate of the younger age group.