Maturing Out of Drug Use: Age or Duration Effect?

Michael Beenstock, Hebrew University
Giora Rahav, Tel Aviv University

Survey data of the Israel adult (18-40) population were used to estimate multivariate models for the probability of mature drug use termination for cannabis and "hard" drugs. The termination probabilities were highest in the case of "hard" drugs and lowest in the case of cigarettes. The great majority of illicit drug users terminate their use naturally. We distinguished between life-cycle phenomena and duration of use as determinents of termination. We have found that the termination of cannabis use was entirely duration dependent, whereas terminating "hard" drugs is entitely a life-cycle dependent. The termination probability is determined by demographic factors in the case of cannabis, but not in the case of "hard" drugs. In both cases heavier drug users find it more difficult to stop.

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Updated 05/20/2006