February 18, 2009  (Excerpted from Join Together )

Adolescents in the U.S., Canada and most countries in Europe
are using less marijuana, perhaps because they also are socializing
less, according to researchers who reviewed previously published
prevalence studies from dozens of countries.

The Associated Press
reported Feb. 2 that the review of data on more than 93,000
15-year-olds concluded that marijuana use declined in the U.S., Canada
and in Western Europe between 2002 and 2006.

Researchers led by Emmanuel Kuntsche of the Swiss Institute for the
Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems also found that the teens were
spending less time going out with friends at night — a finding they
said could be related to the drug trend since youths who spend more
nights away from home are more likely to smoke marijuana.

Kuntsche said that instant messaging, e-mail and cell phones "may
have partly replaced face-to-face contacts, leading to fewer social
contacts in the evening."

The research was published in the February 2009 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.