“Have you ever smoked cannabis?”. 22.3% of Italian high school students answer yes to this question. It is one of the aspects that is revealed in the study ‘Behavioral addictions in Generation Z’, the result of an agreement between the Department of Anti-Drug Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the National Center for Addiction and Doping of the Higher Institute of Health, presented today with a conference in Rome at the headquarters of the ISS. For the survey, more than 8,700 students between the ages of 11 and 17 were interviewed in the autumn of 2022, approximately 3,600 from lower secondary schools and approximately 5,100 from upper secondary schools, throughout the national territory, selected so as to have a representative sample of the population.
A small focus of the report is dedicated to cannabis. And from the analysis of the group – more than a fifth of the high school students interviewed – who replied that they had used it, it emerges that “there are no substantial differences between males and females”. But there are higher percentages of boys who present a risk of behavioral addictions such as food addiction, social media addiction and social isolation, compared to those among classmates who have never smoked cannabis.
In this share of cannabis smokers there are adolescents who show more doxing behaviors (dissemination of information online by a person with usually unpleasant intentions) both practiced and immediately, sexting both sent and received, but also morphing activities (tendency to change your image with the App to improve your appearance and hide any defects) and social challenges. In addition, the researchers point out, “among boys who have smoked cannabis there is a higher percentage of smokers, alcohol consumers, drunk episodes in the last month, consumption of other substances of abuse and anxiolytics”.