Marijuana Use Among Young Adults at Highest Levels

Growing up in Greeley, Colo., Justin Luke Riley heard lots of anti-drug messages at home, school and church. But he ignored them to escape his insecurities and fit in better with his high school tennis team; at age 15, he got hooked.

A little pot turned into a lot, and then alcohol, cocaine and whatever else he could get his hands on, Riley said. At 19, when he entered rehab, he was broke and homeless.

“I couldn’t fake people out anymore,” said Riley, now 23, clean and newly married.

Roughly one in 10 people who try marijuana get addicted, and young users are more vulnerable than older ones, said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Nobody knows why some people get addicted and others don’t — and that’s why teens should stay away from marijuana, both Volkow and Riley said.

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