Heavy drug use in young adulthood


Broman, Clifford L.; Wright, Mellissa K.; Choi, Seung Hee; & Wang, Yijie (2020). Heavy drug use in young adulthood. Journal of Substance Use. pp. 1-6


For some, substance use changes over the life course, but not for others. Because of the devastation caused to individual lives and to society by drug use, the issue of who among young adults continues drug use into early adulthood is one of importance. Several factors have been identified in the prior literature, but studies of long term drug use are relatively rare in examination of whether these characteristics of people continue to lead to heavy drug use. Our focus in this paper is on who the problem drug users are in young adulthood, and what factors are associated with this maintenance of drug use over time. Methods: Using National sample data from the U.S., we examine factors known to be of importance in their association with adolescent substance use and note if they are important in substance use over the young life course. Data are drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health). The final sample consisted of approximately 15,000 cases from waves 1, 3 and 4.Results: Multivariate analyses indicate that the predictors of heavy drug use in young adulthood vary by the drug used. However, the most general influences on heavy drug use in young adulthood are age, gender, race-ethnicity, and the prior use of drugs. Conclusions: Results of the study shed light on long term substance use among adolescents and young adults.




Drug abuse

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Substance Use


Broman, Clifford L.
Wright, Mellissa K.
Choi, Seung Hee
Wang, Yijie

Year Published





May 12, 2020





Reference ID