Study Finds Teenage Drug Use Higher in U.S. Than in Europe

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Feb 22, 2001.


    American teenagers are far more likely than their European peers to use marijuana and other illicit drugs, but European teenagers are more likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, according to a study of 31 nations.

    The study, released yesterday at a meeting of the World Health Organization in Stockholm, compared the results of 1999 surveys answered anonymously by 14,000 10th-grade students in the United States and 95,000 10th-grade students in 30 European countries.

    Among the European students, 37 percent had smoked at least one cigarette in the previous 30 days, compared with 26 percent in the United States. Sixty-one percent of the European 10th graders had consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days, compared with 40 percent of the students in the United States.

    Forty-one percent of 10th graders in the United States had tried marijuana, compared with 17 percent of those in Europe. And 23 percent of the students in the United States had used other illicit drugs, compared with 6 percent of Europeans.

    Researchers said that the study, the first to make such broad comparisons, would help them and policy makers determine the effects of culture and other factors on drug use.

    "We tend to think within national boundaries," said Thor Bjarnason, a sociologist at the State University of New York at Albany and a co-author of the report, the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs. "If you're having a war on drugs, one measure is within a comparative perspective. If drug use is increasing at a slower rate in your country, that could be a victory."

    The study was developed by the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization focused on social and economic issues, with the help of researchers at the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" project, which has surveyed students on a variety of issues for 26 years and is considered the most reliable barometer of student drug- use trends. The European survey was designed in such a way so the two could be accurately compared.

    Dr. Bjarnason called the differences in illicit drug use "very striking."

    "That's one in four students in this country," he said. "Even in the European countries with the highest rates, it's only one in 10."

    Yet while a smaller percentage of European students used illicit drugs, that percentage rose from 1995 to 1999, particularly in former Eastern- bloc countries.

    By contrast, much drug use in the United States has declined or held steady - with the exception of Ecstasy use, which has risen sharply.

    Researchers offered little analysis to explain the differences. That, they said, would come in the second phase of the study.

    But, they noted, the widespread use of marijuana and other illicit drugs began in the United States and spread to Europe so it might be that Europeans simply follow the American trend.

    Others cited the more relaxed rules governing alcohol and cigarette use in many European nations, as well as other cultural differences.

    Researchers said they were particularly interested in the survey results of marijuana use in the Netherlands, known for its relatively permissive drug laws.

    While marijuana use was relatively widespread there - 28 percent of 10th graders had tried it, compared with the European average of 17 percent - four other European countries, Ireland, France, the Czech Republic, and Britain, had higher rates, as did the United States.

    copyright 2001 NYT
  2. What about Canada? hehe...Anyway, as a CANADIAN teenager I only get drunk about 2 to 3 times a month, did smoke cigarettes and all of my friends do smoke still but marijuana is passed around more then cigs with my friends and I.
  3. That study has to be false. I went to Italy senior year with an exchange student I met the year before and at his senior party litteraly everyone was either smoking weed, eating mushrooms/acid or rolling. This was 2004 though.
  4. Lol I wouldn't admit it in school...and 10th grade is a tad early for a lot of drug users 11/12th is where a lot of people kick it in.

    I don't really believe a shitty survey like this lol 10 years ago too??

    edit: dayum im stoned flipppppin thread diggersss sorry didnt notice lol
  5. i was born in eastern europe. and every summer i go back and 3-4 years ago every1 started smoking weed , doing lot of amphetamine and ecstasy , but now lotta ppl are stoppping smoking weed they just get sick of it , its different culture
  6. might not ne true now.. seeing theres a 9 year difference
  7. It can be expected as European youth have easier access to outlets such as alcohol, with such stringent rules in the US on cigarettes and alcohol, it can be expected that people turn to weed, and then it becomes a sub-culture and so on and so forth...blah blah blah, thats my 2 cents anyway :D
  8. That survey should be tossed out the window, its way to unbalanced. 14,000 U.S. kids compared to 95,000 European kids? Its just to unbalanced to have any value.
  9. Thats what i was thinking...

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