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September 1st, 2010
12:15 AM ET

Ethnic differences seen in youth drug use

Teens of different ethnic groups use alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes for different reasons and educators should use different strategies to keep them clean, according to a new study that was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The study is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Researchers analyzed roughly 5,500  responses from seventh- and eighth-graders in Southern California to surveys that were distributed by researchers from the RAND Corporation. The overall rates of substance use were similar to findings from other studies – about 22 percent had tried alcohol, including about 9 percent who drank in the previous month. Ten percent had tried cigarettes, including 2.6 percent in the previous month. Seven percent had tried marijuana, including 3.2 percent in the month just before the survey.

Hispanic students were the most likely to report having tried alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. Next most likely were African-American students, followed by Caucasians. Asian-American seventh- and eighth-graders were substantially less likely to have tried any substance.

But the focus of the study was the “why.” The RAND authors found that two factors in particular were key to whether Hispanic seventh- and eighth-graders drank or smoked: Their “life skills” in saying no to offers of illicit substances, and whether they expected bad consequences from using the substances – such as poor grades, or poor sports performance.

In the Asian-American group, the most important factors were different. Asian seventh- and eighth-graders were especially less likely to drink or smoke if parents and siblings abstained or disapproved. They were also strongly influenced by whether they had positive impressions of drinking – for example, whether they thought it would make them more popular.

While race and cultural differences are loaded topics, study authors Regina Shih and Elizabeth D’Amico say the findings suggest that educators should adapt their focus to the particular students they are trying to reach.

With Hispanic seventh- and eighth-graders, for example, D’Amico says educators might focus on life skills. “Skills training is important with all teens, but we found it can be particularly important with Hispanics. ‘If I go to party this Friday, and there might be alcohol there – how can I not drink, if I don’t want to?’ You get them to think it through, instead of just saying to themselves, ‘I’ll just say no.’”

With Asian-Americans, D’Amico says, educators might focus on getting kids to talk to their families about drugs and alcohol, or on clearing up misconceptions about positive effects. “Does alcohol really make you more popular? It’s important to understand what’s in your head, versus the real drug effect.”

Shih and D’Amico say the variations are complex and they're not suggesting a radically different approach for different groups. In an email, Shih told CNN, "Prevention programs that target these factors shouldn't just be offered to students of certain racial/ethnic groups. We suggest that interventions that focus on factors such as providing skills training to resist peer pressure, and discussing beliefs about substance use, should be widely applied across all adolescents."


soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Chris

    OK, but how do you convince kids of different ethnic groups that cannabis is NOT terrible, and that virtually everything the government says about it is a lie?

    September 1, 2010 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RM

      As is the case with alcohol and all recreational drugs, there are individuals who do not suffer physical or mental scars and others who are injured by using. I do not think government is really interested in keeping drugs out of the hands of the public. What I think government is in fact doing is to make drug use much more enticing to people who want to break the rules, who rail against the establishment and who have a childish need to prove their independence from external controls. These poor fools fall into the trap of doing exactly what government really wants: to increase dependence on public support systems, entice people into rehab and publicly funded counseling programs and ultimately, control their behavior. Yes, I DO see a conspiracy but it's not the one you see. The government that tells you not to use drugs is conniving to put the needle in your own arm by making it seem as fashionable and rebellious as possible.

      September 1, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • Overcat

      Living in reality will do that.

      How people do you know who have been smoking meth for 20 years and are still able to handle a job and a family?

      More than anything we need to get rid of the concept of "drugs". Lumping cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, crack, meth etc into one category is very misleading. Cannabis is not addictive. Even heavy long term users are able to quite with no physiological problems. At worst, there is a psychological attachment. Most people who drink alcohol do so in moderation. Only a minority become alcoholics. At the other end of the spectrum, probably 90% of tobacco users are addicted to it.

      I think that our drug policy should be based on how addictive a substance is and the realistic damage potential on the individual and on society is. I would make tobacco number one on my list. It is very addictive and kills a high percentage of it's users. Cannabis would be down at the bottom of the list. Virtually no addictive potential and not a single death attributed to its use.

      Treat substance use as a medical issue only. Although actions taken under the influence may be criminal. Use taxes on recreational drugs to provide treatment people who want to quit.

      September 1, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      this report is a bold faced lie. from the time since i was a child, it was the caucasians that was getting drunk and using drug at parties. not the african american children. even now, my children may go to a party with african americans where there may be fighting but no drugs. when he goes to the party with caucasians, they are getting drunk, smoking and using drugs. this report is not accurate.
      no matter where i travel in the united states, i have found the same. caucasian children endulged in smoking, taking drugs and drinking sooner than other ethnic groups. they not only begin earlier, but they also over endulge more frequently.

      September 1, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • Swizzlesticks

      Mary, I don't know if the report is a complete lie, but I agree that it is basically worthless. How much stock can we put into a survey conducted about drugs... with 7th and 8th graders? How many of them would withhold the truth, in fear that their parents might find out? I would guess quite a few. I remember I was given one of these surveys as a 9th grader, and I knew tons of people who lied all over that thing. My point is that I do not think the researchers have purposefully created a lie here, but that their conclusion is based on completely unreliable evidence.

      September 1, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • stevo

      Listen smarties, you CANNOT extract causation from correlation; i.e. you cannot say that ones "race" or "culture" leads/causes one to perform these behaviors. Secondly, and most importantly, this survey has extreme threats to its reporting validity based on the basic fact that it relies entirely upon self report from youthful respondents on a serious/legal isssue/issues that often lead to non-reporting or falsified reporting by the respondant. Not to say that these results could not be accurate, but perhaps certain groups are more fearful of reprisal-no matter what confidentiality statements are provided for in the survey itself. Finally, I question the timing of said article based upon the findings and the current racial climate in this country. Those that REPORT on such a survey need to understand the limitations of the research to prevent slanted understandings of entire racial or cultural groups!

      September 1, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
    • Karl

      In short - The pro-drug crowd wants their drug of choice legalized, with the taxpayer picking up the tab for all the downside costs: lung cancer, loss of productivity, loss of brain function family troubles, accidents, other addictions etc etc. They really don't care a bit about the consequences. But hold on - have you ever known an addict who did? They just don't.

      On the other side – People who question the old drug model, but do not see a responsible option offered by the pro-drug crowd that occupies the middle ground and insures the middle class does not have to pick up the tab. The pro drug lobby – in a state of denial – says all research about pot-related health issues is bogus, says there are no risks, claims there are no costs. But what is worse, and funny in a way, they say if there are costs, well, taxpayers can foot the bill.

      This has all the earmarks of a plan devised by drug-heads.

      September 1, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Karl

      There are risks. There are costs. My question, is how do you protect the communities from another drug – and its consequences – being unleashed on their families?

      September 1, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Of course the government wants you to use drugs. They have their own drug dealers. They're called doctors. The stuff that doctors throw around like candy is just as bad or worse than heroin or coke with the same effects and everything!

      Obviously, many of the people up top (the elites) have their snouts in the global hard drug trough. The CIA is probably the biggest drug dealer on the planet. How exactly do you think 15 year old gangbangers in the inner city are getting things like crack, heroin, angel dust and meth to deal? They're not making it themselves!

      The reason why they don't want you to smoke weed, do 'shrooms or peyote is because ANYONE can grow it. If you can grow a potted plant in your house, you can grow marijuana. There's no money to be made there. Not to mention the fact that weed just might prevent or at least help fight cancer -which is a holy cash cow to the medical establishment (same with HIV/AIDS. The system wants you hooked on their synthetic crap that costs an arm and a leg -and your life! I'd say if it's not from the earth, don't use it or at least be wary!

      September 10, 2010 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
  2. Beth

    I am a white female, and I think what age you use drugs at has so many different factors its hard to pin point them. My family's lax attitude didn't help, and neither did the community I was raised in – where any type of drug you can think of was readily available. I think the d.a.r.e program was a complete and utter failure as well.. it basically told us everything about the drugs and focused very little on preventative lessons, other than the typical 30 second role playing skits. The first time I drank alcohol to get drunk I was 11years old and in 6th grade. The first time I smoked pot I was 13 years old and in 8th grade. And the first time I tried cocaine I was 16 years old and in 11th grade. I think it's hard to generalize based on race or ethnic differences.

    September 1, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RM

      But what was it that made you try these things in the first place?. Just because there are trees around us, we don't see too many people chewing on them. Just because there are houses and structures everywhere, I have never heard of anyone trying to smoke a cement block or an awning. Availability is an excuse. What was it that made you want to get high?

      September 1, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      I guess it could be coming from a broken home, or dealing with anxiety, or just being curious. I really don't know to be honest.

      September 1, 2010 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • RM

      Or all of the above. I'm not trying to judge anything here, just curious. I tried drugs but gave them up once I didn't like how they made me feel anymore (loss of self control, bad emotions). And when I didn't like the kind of people I kept running into with drug use. . But I still like to have a couple of pops after work.. It's not like I'm immune from dependency...

      September 1, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Superman

      You started young. Are you a stripper now?

      September 1, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      No, I am not a stripper. And you are extremely ignorant for thinking so. I am well educated, work full time, and am a productive member of society.

      Looking back, it probably was a mixture of all three – but the point I was trying to make is that being white, in my opinion, had no effect whatsoever on whether or not I was tempted to experiment with drugs.

      September 1, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Swizzlesticks

      I went to an inner-city school, where drug sales were a major issue during the early 90's, so we got the more-intense version of DARE that was supposed to really scare everyone straight. What a waste of time! We were taught all about the drugs (they even brought in locked-up samples, so that we could all see a crack rock first hand), and the prevention part was 95% "just say no." Like that works. In college, I focused on criminal justice as a major, and was fascinated to learn how, even in intellectual circles, the DARE program is viewed, almost entirely, as a complete waste of time. Children who go through the DARE program are actually MORE likely to used drugs than those that do not.

      And to the person who suggested you might be a stripper – grow up.

      September 1, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Tommas

      DARE is a complete waste of time and money, kids are less likely to do drugs if they don't know anything about them. Having a cop speak to kids automatically leads them to not believe (and think the opposite) of what they are saying. All I could remember is awe of these magical substances, when what they were trying to do was elicit fear.

      September 4, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
  3. bradfad

    there's no ethnic difference in drug use habits in singapore because singapore applies capital punishment to drug distributors. there is no drug problem there. if the united states did that, instead of launching studies about drug proclivities among children, there wouldn't be a drug problem here either.

    get your priorities straight, united states of america.

    September 1, 2010 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      really? your solution is that we should kill all of the drug dealers? wow, thank God I live in America. drugs are a problem, yes, but murder is not the solution.

      September 1, 2010 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • RM

      While I do not support execution as a means of resolving all illegal drug related problems, I do have to admit that it would reduce the recidivism rate to zero. No repeat offenders.

      September 1, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • Overcat

      That would end the drug problem. With everyone involved in the civil war following the collapse of the government, no one would have time to deal drugs.

      Americans are not really big on the whole fascist thing. You know, police in everyone's bedroom just doesn't go over too well here.

      I would rather have our current drug problem, than devalue human life to the point where we are slaughtering our population for minor infractions.

      If we had the death penalty for parking violations, no one would park illegally either.

      September 1, 2010 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
    • Superman

      As an adult I think I should decide if I want to take drugs are not. It's not hurting anyone and I’m perfectly capable of doing it responsibly and in moderation. As a matter of fact, about half the people I know have been doing just that for the last 15-20 years.

      September 1, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
    • Superman

      Also, I don't think the US or any other country should model themselves after Singapore.

      September 1, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Hollywood, Professional Sports, the Media, Prescription Drug companies, Alcohol Companies, all promote drugs.. Even our Gov't turns a blind eye to Opium growers in Afganastan.. Maybe people take drugs because we advertise that ii you have problem there is a pill to cure you.. No work, just pop a pill.. Your sad, take some paxil, got a headache take some motrin, want to socialize, have a beer etc... Someones making lots of $$$ on you, your kids and it isn't just the illegal drug cartels..

    September 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RM

      This is an excellent point. Ever notice how many drug commercials there are on TV and how often they run? It's depressing. But regarding government encouragement, or at least tacit acceptance of drug use: the government is creating a dependent class who will be easy to control and mold. This dependent class will surely vote for whichever candidate promises them the most "freedoms" from prosecution for drug use. They have their cadres in the population who promote legalization of recreational drugs. While the citizens who favor this approach are merely misguided and fail to see the long range effects of their folly, the government that condones and encourages these "laissez faire" attitudes toward drug usage knows all too well what it is doing. It simply wants more control and increased revenues.

      September 1, 2010 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
  5. RM

    The key is peer approval. If it is considered cool to get high, then that is what kids and adults will do. If parents have not properly prepared their offspring for the onslaught of challenges and temptations the youngsters will face, or if the child is rebellious in nature, or if peer pressure is too strong, then there exists a much greater likelihood youngster will use drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, in some ethnic cultures, being "cool" take precedence over almost any other social directive. This is true for adults as well as kids. Rebelling against "The Man" is very important in order to establish one's ethnic identity and place in the social order. The rebellion too often leads to illegal activities. In those circles, getting high becomes an accepted, or at least condoned (with a wink and a nod) part of social behavior. While the adults might not directly support illegal drug and alcohol use by their children, they are much more tolerant (or in abject denial) toward it because of deeply held resentments and an ingrained hatred for "the establishment". A youngster who resists assimilation into this "cool culture" is accused of trying to be too "white". There really is no way to resolve this except to change the attitudes of an entire ethnic group.

    September 1, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. What4

    @Chris – first off we let them read what an imbecillic post you just made then we let them see videos of the jerks who partake of each and how they act stupid and then show what it does to the internal organs of the body. On second thought, you should join the class on these hazards. You just might learn something before its too late.

    September 1, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Swizzlesticks

      Perhaps you should check out the facts for yourself. Drugwarfacts.com is a good place to start. Look, I am not saying that all illicit drugs are good for you or anything, but an understanding of harms of each individual drug is necessary for honest conversation about drugs and the drug war. For example, the general numbers for deaths caused by drugs (if memory serves, you can verify these should you care) tobacco kills 440,000 per year, alcohol 120,000 per year, and all illegal drugs combined between 15,000-20,000. So the harm reasons really don't hold a lot of water. Plus, the whole "see how dumb they act" could sure be applied to alcohol as much as any illegal drug. If you think they should remain illegal, that is completely legitimate, but claiming they all cause so much damage, without any distinction between the drugs, is highly uninformed.

      September 1, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    From this article it shouldnt matter what ethnic group it it. If only you would go back to your history books and find out who and where the drugs were made and came from, before you aim towards ethnic groups look at your own darn selves. This is nothing but, discrimination.

    September 1, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Chris

    Another thing is it depends on the student or person of their parents or who they associate with, is where it comes from. Now I didn't aim for ethnic groups either.

    September 1, 2010 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mannynights

    The Asian culture, mostly, is an AMBITIUOS culture. That is why they always fair better even when they are "poor" and in a "bad" neighborhood. They aspire to higher education and their parents are very involved in their homework and life- unlike some other cultures...........
    Parents are EVRYTHING in such a wealthy culture as ours, (Compared to many other countries in the world- we are loosing, but not as bad ...yet). In fact- have children and they will not have a job in the future–or likely clean air to breath- but whatever!

    September 1, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zero tolerance

      Yes, parents are a huge force in determining the success of their kids. Oriental and south central Asian parents operate a parental dictatorship in which do-as-I-say and high expectations are the norm. It doesn't matter what neighborhood they live in or what school the kids go to, kids attend class, pay attention, do homework, do chores, obey their parents and frequently work jobs too. If those kids are caught taking illegal drugs, their hides get tanned. Other families turn a blind eye or are just plain blind and don't track their kid's progress or push them to succeed. Ultimately, parental tolerance and culture determine how likely a kid is to try drugs or alcohol.

      September 1, 2010 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • CleanLiving87

      It's funny, I read a similar article on a different blog and stated the same results. I agree with you. I think it all boils down to the parents and the environment at home. If parents are closed to discuss issues such as drugs and alcohol, these children might enter this realm in the wrong way. Especially in the Asian-American culture, most of the children's parents came from a different country, and didn't quite fully adjust to society in America; leaving them close minded to the pressures of teens.

      Also the environment at home can lead to drug usage. If a child/teen has a cold and non loving environment in the home, the more prone they are to trying drugs to escape the reality at home.

      September 29, 2010 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  10. KawiMan

    The government wants to keep drugs illegal, so that they can continue fleecing the general public thru fines, drug/cash/property seizures as to continue financially support the infrastructure of the judicial system (i.e., judges, prosecutors, police, jails, prisons, etc.) There are big bucks invested in this system! There are far better ways for these resources to be utilized.

    The majority of people in our jails & prisons are there for drug offenses. Not for violent crimes or other crimes unrelated to drug offenses. Alcohol is legal and its use causes far more problems than all other drugs combined.

    The government and law enforcement does NOT have the public's best interest in mind.

    Law enforcement is a self serving, arrogant government agency of racketeers that thrive on intimidation, extortion, and fleecing the general public out of their hard earned dollars.

    For those critical of my statements – I do NOT drink alcohol or use drugs.

    September 1, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • zero tolerance

      KiwiMan, as someone who has been robbed at gunpoint, had my apartment broken into, had my laptop stolen and had my car broken into with not a single arrest made, I realize that every arrest, conviction and jailing of a drug offender gets people off the street who had to rob and steal to support their habit or kill their competition. Doing, possessing and selling drugs isn't the problem for which people are really in jail. It is the collateral crime that always accompanies such activities that must be dealt with. We don't always need evidence of bacteria or virus when we detect a fever to begin treatment. We know drugs always means other criminal activity and I am glad for every conviction. However, rehabilitation and prevention strategies are needed to address the cause. Until those are successful, keep locking them up.

      September 1, 2010 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • c smith

      Kawiman–you my friend are absolutely correct--furthermore, these 'drug' laws are in direct violation of the constitution–not that seems to matter anymore-the U.S. government already tried 'prohibition' and it failed miserably, to the point that it actually created more problems (violence, gangs, etc.) than it solved–they then repealed the act–hence, they established a tenet that prohibition is illegal-what does it matter what you call the substance (alcohol, cocaine, etc.) –finally, those of us that accept the governments intrusion into our lives and drug-testing to get employment are only giving their freedoms away to the point that -any- government will eventually decide that 'we the people' no longer have rights or the ability to decide for ourselves–prohibition is wrong, plain and simple. Legalize, tax and regulate just like with cigs and alcohol (the 2 deadliest drugs on earth) Peace!

      September 1, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • c smith

      In response to 'zero tolerance'–which is another name for facism–the government that enforces prohibition is directly responsible for any and all crime with relationship to drug use..period, no equivocations–furthermore, think for a moment...when prohibition was repealed almost 100 years ago, did everyone go out and become an alcoholic–of course not, so that kind of argument is ridiculous–drug use/abuse is a medical issue and not a criminal one unless you are caught driving under the influence for example–go ahead and look up all the registered 'sex offenders' living in your neighborhood and think out loud–who would you rather seen in jail? a pedophile; rapist; mugger; murderer; etc. or some guy selling pot? Then go and look up 'serial killer' on trutv.com and you will see how these sort of violent predators are routinely released early from prison to make room for non-violent offenders-do you really think the government has your best interests at heart? prohibition is a government sanctioned racket and nothing more–be aware!

      September 1, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  11. Tony

    Parents setting bad examples and/or letting their kids hang out with other kids that have bad parents is what causes drug and alchohol use among these junior high kids. That's what happend to me and ethnic differences didn't matter. However, there was a large population of asian-american's that smoked cigarrettes, more than any other race.

    September 1, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Beth

    "Alcohol is legal and its use causes far more problems than all other drugs combined."

    I think that this definitely has some truth behind it. When I was attending college, I would see girls that would have a few shots, get up on a table, and start degrading in every way possible (stripping, making out with eachother, ect..) I knew so many girls that would get black-out drunk and end up waking up in someone else's bed not sure if they were raped or drunkenly gave permission. This is a serious problem..

    I've never seen a girl smoke a joint or two, lose all her inhibitions, and end up in a strangers bed. I've never seen anyone smoke a blunt and decide to pick fights for no reason at all.

    September 1, 2010 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Edward

    Most people try drugs out of curiosity and there isn't anything wrong with that. The problem is when use or curiousity crosses the line into addiction and abuse. Most people who try drugs do not become addicts. That said, risking a possible arrest just to get high isn't something that I would advise.

    September 1, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. TREVONBACH

    WHITE 33 AND ON AN OLD COMPUTER SO CAPS ARE JUST ON... SO APOLOGIES.

    FIRST, HISTORY: BEEN SOBER FOR A FEW DAYS OVER 18 MONTHS. (28TH IS THE MONTHLY OBSERVANCE.) I DRANK EXCESSIVELY UNTIL I FINALLY JUST GOT SICK OF IT AND TOOK A NALTREXONE. NOW THAT IS A WONDER DRUG FOR THE ALCOHOLICS. WENT FROM 20+ BEERS A NIGHT TO ZERO IN A SNAP OF A FINGER. ITS A NUTTY DRUG, BUT IT WORKS. AFTER 2 MONTHS, I HELD MY GROUND, AND HAVENT TOUCHED A SIP OF ALCOHOL SINCE.

    SECOND: WAS AN ABUSER OF POT IN MY 20S. FOR THOSE WHO SAY IT ISN'T ADDICTIVE, I BEG TO DIFFER. IT TAKES ABOUT A WEEK TO CLEAR IT OUT OF YOUR HEAD... THE WANT IS ALWAYS THERE, BUT THE NEED EVENTUALLY GOES AWAY... I USED TO GET FRANTIC IF I COULDN'T GET SOME AND IT AFFECTED EVERYTHING FROM MY MOOD TO MY FRIENDSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, FAMILY, ETC.

    NOWADAYS, I SMOKE POT ABOUT 4-5X OUT OF THE YEAR BECAUSE OF BACK PAIN THAT FLARES UP, AND THE OCCASIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THE HIT. AFTER ABOUT 2-3 DAYS, YOU LIE IN BED FOR A DAY AND AFTER ABOUT A WEEK, SOBRIETY IS BACK TO THE NORM... IT DOESN'T HURT PHYSICALLY AND IS A GODSEND FOR THE PAIN I HAVE ON A NORMAL BASIS. WHEN ITS UNBEARABLE, ONE HIT IS ALL I NEED TO FEEL BETTER, SO TO SAY I USE IT MEDICALLY WOULD BE GOOD, YET ITS NOT ALLOWED TO BE PRESCRIBED IN PENNSYLTUCKY. (WE LIVE IN AN ERA ABOUT 60 YEARS BACK PERPETUALLY HERE, DOWN TO STATE STORES SELLING LIQUOR. FORGET THE CONVENIENCE STORE SIX PACK. HECK, WE JUST GOT ALLOWANCE TO GET WINE AT A GROCERY STORE.)

    SO POT LAWS ARENT CHANGING FOR A LOOOONG TIME...

    BUT THEY SHOULD.

    SO WITH THAT HISTORY, AND KNOWLEDGE OF ONLY POT AS DRUG USE... I MUST SAY THIS: ITS NOT AN ETHNIC ISSUE, BUT AN ECONOMIC ISSUE. PEOPLE LIVING IN THE POORER SECTIONS OF TOWN, WHETHER BROWN, WHITE, YELLOW... THEY ARE THE DRUG USERS. WHY IS THIS? SPEND MILLIONS TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT...

    I'LL SPELL IT OUT: THE GOVERNMENT HATES POOR PEOPLE. THERE. ITS BEEN SAID. ALSO THE GOVT IN AMERICA HATES MINORITIES, SO TO KEEP THE MINORITIES IN PRISON BY KEEPING DRUGS ILLEGAL IS PERFECT. LOOK AT THE PRISON POPULATIONS FOR DRUG USE... ITS BOOMING. WHICH PUTS MONEY IN GOVT POCKETS.

    POOR HAVE NO MONEY. NO MONEY CAUSES DEPRESSION WHICH DRUGS "CURE"... WHEN YOU'RE HIGH ALLS GOOD, BUT WHEN YOU'RE NOT, FORGET ABOUT IT. BEG BORROW STEAL... WHEN POOR PEOPLE HAVE KIDS AND FURTHURMORE CANNOT IMPROVE THEIR ECONOMIC SITUATION THE KIDS GET DEPRESSED THEY DON'T LIVE LIKE THE JONESES AND BOOM, CRIME AND DRUGS DEVELOP. WHY DO PEOPLE ROB AND STEAL? FOOD, WATER, DRUGS, AND FAMILY. MONEY IS JUST SHEETS OF PAPER UNTIL YOU CAN GET STUFF WITH IT.

    I SAY THIS... LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS. HAVE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO AND USE. DOCTORS CAN MONITOR THEM AND MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT OVERDOSE. CLEAN NEEDLES FOR THE IV USERS, PURE DRUGS (UNCUT) FOR FREE... CRIME RATE GONE... DRUG DEALERS GONE. THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN YOU SEE IT AS AN ETHNIC ISSUE.
    AS FOR THOSE WHO WANNA QUIT, GO TO REHAB. OR TRY NALTREXONE. IT WORKED FOR ME.

    REASON WHY KIDS DO DRUGS? CAUSE THEIR PARENTS DO DRUGS. OR THEIR FRIENDS DO DRUGS. IF YOUR PARENT IS AN ALCOHOLIC YOU TEND TO TRY LIQUOR OR BEER AT A YOUNGER AGE. SAME WITH POT. SAME WITH ANYTHING. IF MY DAD WERE A PILOT, I'D HAVE NO PROBLEM FLYING. AS OF TODAY I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A PLANE AND DON'T PLAN TO.

    September 1, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • shannon

      SHOUTING IS RUDE!!!

      using an old computer is no excuse for posting all in CAPS. If your computer supports a web browser, then you can damn well turn off the caps lock. if the caps lock is broken, then hold the shift key down the whole time you're typing.

      September 1, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
  15. Kickrocks

    So black and hispanic kids (i'm guessing a majority come from low income households) can afford alcohol cigarettes and pot...what a load of malarkey....I've worked with kids for 15 yrs and the preteen boozers, potheads, and smack fiends are predominanlty white, but I guess since there parents can afford to cover up their kids habits, it doesn't get reported as a statistic....another reason why I am afraid of white people.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. mesh

    Really shannon? Give it a rest on the cap lock thing and stay on point please. Thanks.

    I agree with the sentiment of most of the posters.. this study is flawed.

    Good comments here .. it's kind of nice to see something that could have gone the racial or political rant route stay on the proper subject matter.

    My experience shows me that all kids experiment. Just because someone's parents may indulge in these things is not an indicator that their children will. Many of these kids see this as just another thing, and not something taboo that they are curious about, going on to lead sober lives.

    September 1, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Damon

    It isn't about ethnicity, it is about who is selling the drugs and who has the money. Drugs = money. The kids are just innocent bystanders. You can't call someone who willingly participates a victim. As long as this continues, no control over drugs whatsoever, kids will continue to have free access.

    September 1, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. shay

    Frankly I think that it is pure bs to worry about who is doing drugs and whatever have you may. If the parents aren't taking care of business at home, then its really no one else business. People are going to do what they want, and if what they want is to throw their life away by abusing drugs and alcohol, let them be merry. You cannot control peoples actions! That's the problem with the government now in general, everyone wants to control! If the government was sooo cocerned about people doing and selling drugs, it would have long been demolished. But its obvious they don't give a damn because as soon as the drugs come...they hand it over straight to the dealers selling it to people. Then when the dealers get too "popular" is what I'm going to call it...they want to lock them up! The govt makes money off of the dealers profit from the people engaging in drugs. There's no real issue here...only mind your damn business!

    September 1, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Bobo

    I love Tacos!

    Use is different than Abuse or depenance. Marijuana does not cause abuse or dependance. Can it be abused? Yes. Can you become dependant? No. There are no physical or mental withdraw from it. Learn the Facts. Medicinal vs Industrial.

    Canada is building the shells of cars out of Industrial Hemp. Cars can be powered by Hemp seed oil. WOW, and almost fully renewable energy resource not based on oil or corn. Thanks Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa and the US Government for your propaganda you fed us for the past 60 years! We could have had this technology perfected by now!

    LEARN THE TRUTH! FIND OUT THE FACTS! Stop going to every dang webpage that says this or that about something!

    September 2, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. J100409

    Different ethnic groups have different cultures. The broader culture has an effect on drug usage.
    This is news?

    December 21, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
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