Year: 2019 Source: Ottawa, ON: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, 2019. 24 p. SIEC No: 20190197

Cannabis is one of the most widely used psychoactive substance among Canadian youth. This fact is particularly concerning given that early initiation and frequent use of cannabis are associated with many adverse health effects (e.g., impaired cognitive function, increased risk of psychological and substance use disorders). Student drug use surveys (SDUS) are regularly occurring surveys that collect data in classroom settings on the use of alcohol and other substances by students in grades 7 through 12. Survey results are used to monitor emerging trends and inform decision making about policies, programs and services to improve the health outcomes of youth. This information is
particularly important since the recent legalization of non-medical cannabis use. A primary aim of the Cannabis Act is to prevent youth from accessing cannabis. This report compiles results from provincial and national SDUS to provide a pan-Canadian perspective on baseline trends before legalization in cannabis use, associated harms and perceived risks among Canadian students in grades 7 through 12. It is intended to inform policy makers, substance use treatment and prevention program developers, researchers, health professionals and those working with youth.