Is parents’ use of marijuana associated with greater likelihood of kids’ substance use?

Bottom Line: Recent and past use of marijuana by parents was associated with increased risk of marijuana, tobacco and alcohol use by adolescent or young adult children living in the same household in this survey study. Researchers examined data for 24,900 parent-child pairs from National Surveys on Drug Use and Health from 2015-2018. Parental marijuana use was a risk factor for marijuana and tobacco use by adolescent and young adult children and for alcohol use by adolescent children when researchers accounted for a variety of potential family and environmental factors. When those factors were considered, parental marijuana use wasn’t associated with opioid misuse by their children. The study has limitations, including that the surveys cannot provide a complete picture of family substance use.

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Authors: Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, and McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16015)

Editor’s Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., email Laura Neves at [email protected] The full study and commentary are linked to this news release.

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