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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Students in the U.S. Less Consuming Alcohol and Cigarettes But Dominant Using Drugs When Compared With Europe

american students
Model: newamericanculture.com
The use of tobacco and alcohol by students, the U.S. ranks second lowest when compared with the 36 countries in Europe. This fact is obtained from a survey of more than 100 000 students in the major countries in Europe such as Germany, France, and Italy. The students are young people aged 15 and 16 years, the survey took place in the late spring.

The surprising result is about 27 percent of American students drink alcohol for 30 days prior to survey. While European countries have an average of 57 percent. Mean, double the average in the U.S. The results were expressed by the principal investigator of the American surveys, Lloyd Johnston. Only Iceland has the lowest average, 17 per cent.

In one month prior to survey, the proportion of students who consume tobacco in America is 12 percent, while in Europe 28 percent. Once again, students in Europe who consume cigarettes doubled in American students. However, similar results were also obtained, only 10 percent of Iceland.

"One of the reasons that smoking and drinking rates among adolescents are so much lower here than in Europe is that both behaviors have been declining and have reached historically low levels in the U.S. over the 37-year life of the Monitoring the Future study," Johnston said. "But even in the earlier years of the European surveys, drinking and smoking by American adolescents was quite low by comparison. "Use of illicit drugs is quite a different matter."

Nevertheless, students who used marijuana or hashish during the 30 days prior to survey. U.S. has a third of the 37 countries surveyed, about 18 percent. Only France and Monaco which have the highest rank, respectively 24 and 21 percent.

American students reported the highest level of marijuana availability of all the countries and the lowest proportion of students associating great risk with its use—factors that may help to explain their relatively high rates of use here, according to Johnston.

The U.S. ranks first in the proportion of students using any illicit drug other than marijuana in their lifetime (16 percent compared to an average of 6 percent in Europe) and using hallucinogens like LSD in their lifetime (6 percent vs. 2 percent in Europe). It also ranks first in the proportion reporting ecstasy use in their lifetime (7 percent vs. 3 percent in Europe), despite a sharp drop in their ecstasy use over the previous decade. American students have the highest the proportion reporting lifetime use of amphetamines (9 percent), a rate that is three times the average in Europe (3 percent). Ecstasy was seen as more available in the U.S. than in any other country. 

For some drugs, however, the lifetime prevalence rate in the U.S. was just about the average for the European countries, including inhalants (10 percent), cocaine (3 percent), crack (2 percent), heroin (1 percent) and anabolic steroids (1 percent).

"Clearly the U.S. has attained relatively low rates of use for cigarettes and alcohol, though not as low as we would like," Johnston said. "But the level of illicit drug use by adolescents is still exceptional here."

This was the fifth coordinated data collection in Europe as part of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, the first being held in 1995 with 26 countries participating. The research plan this time was for each country to generate a representative national sample of 15- and 16-year-olds with at least 2,400 students being surveyed. All samples were nationally representative, except those in Germany, Russia, Flanders (the Dutch part of Belgium) and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In each of these cases a sub-national representative sample was surveyed, such as Moscow in the case of Russia.

The European survey group was led by Swedish sociologist Bjorn Hibbell, who has worked in the substance abuse field for many years. The American survey is led by social psychologist Lloyd Johnston, who has served as principal investigator of Monitoring the Future since its inception 37 years ago. MTF, which is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, had a sample of 15,400 10th-grade students in 126 high schools in the 2011 survey. Students completed confidential, self-administered questionnaires right in their classrooms in both the American and European surveys.

Editor: Authors of threelas
Source: Newswise

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