Teenage Drinking

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Teenage Drinking Alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use among children and adolescents is a major public concern. Recent research on middle and senior high school students showed a reversal of previous declines in smoking marijuana and using drugs other than marijuana, a decline in students' personal disapproval of marijuana, and a high prevalence of alcohol use (Johnston, O'Malley, and Bachman 1996; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1996). Concern over this trend surfaced in the popular press, resulting in calls for measures to prevent teen drug use (Christian Science Monitor 1996; Friend 1996; Johnson 1996). The use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs has long been linked with several negative outcomes for youth, including poor academic achievement and school dropout (Jessor and Jessor 1977; Kolbe et al. 1986; Dryfoos 1990; Mensch and Kandel 1981). Peer approval of the use of alcohol and other drugs and the availability and use of these substances by other students at school are prominent influences on students to use drugs (Dusek and Girdano 1987; Gelfand, Jenson, and Drew 1982; Gottfredson 1988). In this Brief, student reports of peer approval, availability, and use at school of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs are examined in connection with school and student characteristics including participation in school alcohol/drug education programs. Although student reports reflect perceptions rather than objective measures of substance availability, use, and peer approval, they provide valuable information about the perceived presence of substances at school and the norms of fellow students. These findings based on the school environment lend confirmation to the other recent findings about drugs and adolesce... ... middle of paper ... ...1%, women 48%.  Alcohol consumed by 11-15 year olds in a week: 5.5million units, equivalent to 2.75million pints.  Alcohol misuse contributes to: 40% of violent crime, 78% of assaults, 88% of criminal damage cases. Some 13,000 violent incidents take place near licensed premises each week.  The physical cost: alcohol is associated with 30,000 deaths a year, 76,000 hospital cases of facial injury, 65% of suicide attempts and 23% of calls to child neglect helplines. The CAGE test questions.  C - "Have you ever felt that you should Cut down on your drinking?"  A - "Have people Annoyed you by criticising your drinking?"  G - "Have you ever felt Guilty about your drinking?"  E - Eye-opener. "Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?"
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