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High school students using drugs

The research explores differences in substance usage between high school students of different races in rural Missisippi. The discovered correlations between race and drug usage rates has implications for organization of anti-drug campaigns directed at students, allowing for the possibility to tailor these initiatives to the needs of different communities. Baumler, E. R. , Fleschler, M. A. , Tortolero, S. , Vernon, S. W. , & Weller, N. F. (2002). Lifetime Inhalant Use among Alternative High School Students in Texas: Prevalence and Characteristics of Users.

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 28, 477+. The authors explore patterns of using inhalants including glue, gasoline, cleaning fluids, and aerosols among alternative high school students. The study aims to reveal risk factors associated with this extremely risky behavior associated with possibility of permanent brain damage and speech disruption. The connection between the use of inhalants and demographic and psychosocial factors is established. Inhalant use is connected with gender, race, foreign origin, job involvement, and low socioeconomic status.

The study has implications for creation of programs designed for users of inhalants. Como-Lesko, N. , Primavera, L. H. , & Szeszko, P. R. (1994). Marijuana Usage in Relation to Harmfulness Ratings, Perceived Likelihood of Negative Consequences and Defense Mechanisms in High School Students. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 20, 301+. The article addresses the problem of perceptions that motivate high school students to use marijuana. The authors test the hypothesis that students misperceive the harmfulness of the light drugs, because of the erroneous perception of the insignificance of consequences.

The study is of interest as it sheds light on high school students’ attitudes toward drug usage and their motivation in using drugs. Lampinen, T. M. , McGhee, D. , & Martin, I. (2006, January-February). Use of crystal methamphetamine and other club drugs among high school students in Vancouver and Victoria. BC Medical Journal, 1, 22-27. Online document accessed 6/17/06, 9:00 AM. http://www. bcma. org/public/bc_medical_journal/BCMJ/2006/jan_feb_2006/crystal_meth. pdf

The paper addresses variations in drug using behavior patterns of high school students, exploring the relationship between drub abuse and sexual orientation, demographics, and previous experience. The value of the study lies in the detailed breakdown of results by the type of the drug (crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD, ketamine etc. ). The article also includes implications for school-based initiatives directed at reducing drug usage. Synthesis The articles reviewed above show clear link between various psychosocial and demographic factors and resulting patterns of drug use in high school students.

The topics of the articles suggest possible factors that can influence drug usage in adolescents, including also behaviors and attitudes. The literature review provides background for further study of reasons for drug use among high school populations. It also has practical implications for those responsible for the organization of anti-drug campaigns in schools. A deeper understanding of what motivates students to take addictive substances and what groups of students are more likely to consume drugs will help professionals in relevant fields design programs specifically targeting the populations that are most at risk.

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