Study Confirms First-Time Drug Use Most Likely To Occur in the Summer

First-Time Drug Use Is More Likely in the Summer Months

A recent study led by researchers at the NYU School of Medicine examined the connection between first-time drug use and the time of the year that it takes place. Researchers studied a focus group of adults and teenagers. The results were that “roughly 34% of first-time LSD users” began use in the summer. The study also found similar results were true for marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine. Researchers found 30% of marijuana users, 30% of ecstasy/MDMA users, and 28% of cocaine users all used those drugs for the first-time in the summer.

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Joseph J. Palamar, Ph.D, who is an associate professor in the Department of Population Health, estimated that there were a total of 3 million individuals who experimented with drugs for their first time in 2017. The 394,415 individuals who were the focus group of this study ranged from 12 years of age and older and participated between 2011 and 2017. The results were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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First-Time Drug Use and Music Festivals Serve as a Clue

There is much speculation that the free time in the summer grants people to give into the temptation of recreational drug use. An additional factor has been explained as, “people having extra recreational time during the summer, as well as growing popularity of outdoor activities, such as music festivals.”  Not only can teens and adults explore new drugs without having to worry about returning to school or work the next day, attendance of music festivals can expose people to new and dangerous substances.

First-time drug use at a summer music festival poses special risks of serious complications. For instance, those who are not “staying hydrated and resting” if experimenting with drugs can risk dehydration, heat stroke, and other dangerous complications. Teenagers and adults who take LSD and do not rest are more likely to endure more difficulties when “coming down” from the drug. It is also highly recommended for potential users to remain in the company of trusted friends to reduce harm. Music festival goers are surrounded by people, many of whom may not be well-intentioned, and who may take advantage of novice users.

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