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Adolescent Drug Abuse Facts & Myths

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  The epidemic of adolescent drug abuse represents a phenomenon of a normal (albeit undesirable) adolescent rite of passage

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  For the majority of adolescents experimentation with drugs represents a brief period of testing limits followed by conventional lifestyles

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  Unsolicited peer pressure is not the major variable contributing to adolescent drug abuse. Psychologically disturbed adolescents, wanting drugs, actively seek out peer groups that will support drug use

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  The current assumption that a few hours of drug education in the classroom setting can somehow be translated into significant alterations in problem behaviors (which are rooted in deep-seated psychological dysfunction) is based on misguided and fanciful thinking

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  Behaviors and value orientations of substance abusers are connected to the following predictors evident in early childhood prior to drug problem: - exhibition of antisocial behaviors (cheating, lying, stealing) - seldom involved in extra curricular school activities - achieve poor grades

WB01342_.gif (412 bytes)  A rational approach to combating drug abuse includes targeting high risk youth with the following strategies:

(Shedler, J. & Block, J. (1990) Adolescent drug use and psychological health, American Psychologist, 45:5, 612-630)