ERIC Number: ED435930
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Reasons for Use, Abstention, and Quitting Illicit Drug Use by American Adolescents: A Report Commissioned by the Drugs-Violence Task Force of the National Sentencing Commission. Monitoring the Future Occasional Paper No. 44.
Johnston, Lloyd D.
The data for this report were obtained from the Monitoring the Future study. Surveys from eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade respondents were used to examine adolescents' reasons for use, abstention, and quitting illicit drug use. Many reasons were found for drug use. Abstainers provided more reasons for their abstention than quitters gave for their quitting. The stages of drug involvement are explained and the connections between drug use and crime are discussed. A theory of drug epidemics is introduced. This theory proposes the following phases: the growth phase (awareness, access, motivation to use, reassurance about the safety of the drug, willingness to violate laws and predominant social norms); the maintenance phase; the growth phase; and the relapse phase. This report concludes by offering that society's ability to control the relapse and to reduce the standing addict population will depend greatly on our understanding of the dynamic nature of the process, of the limitations of traditional supply reduction strategies, and on the importance of demand and demand reduction to the dynamics of such epidemics. Beliefs, attitudes, and norms regarding drugs are critical deterrents to use in the general population. For addicts, more substantial changes are clearly needed to change behavior, primarily in the form of effective treatment and rehabilitation. (Contains 2 tables, 8 figures, and 12 references.) (MKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Inst. for Social Research.