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Extracurricular Activities and Drug Use

Extracurricular Activities and Drug Use
Jon Davis - Fri Apr 08, 2011 @ 08:39PM
Comments: 21

The 2010 Porter County Epidemiological Profile reports these facts:

“Porter County youth spend more time after school without adult supervision than other students in the state.

There is an overall general lack of participation in after school programs across all grade levels. For example, 83.7% of seniors do not participate in any program”

There is an implication that school participation will minimize drug and alcohol use by students. After doing a little research, I have found that there is correlation between participation in after school activities and a reduced risk of drug and alcohol use. However, it is not an outright deterrent.

A study by Van E. Cooley et al. (2001) states, “Student [tobacco alcohol and other drug] experimentation and use were generally lower for extracurricular participants than for students who did not participate in extracurricular activities. However, while experimentation and use patterns as a rule are lower for extracurricular participants, extracurricular participation shold not be heralded as a guarantee against [tobacco, alcohol, and other drug] experimentation and use. The significance of this study is the realization that students participating in various subgroups are using different substances”.

The results of another study by Shilts (1991), while dated, does show that there is decrease in substance abuse by extracurricular activity participants. It states, “The nonusing group reported significantly higher involvement in extracurricular activities as compared to the using and abusing groups” and later adds, “The abusers group consisted of individuals who reported little involvement in extracurricular activities”.

One final study I looked at on a similar topic by Kimberly L. Henry (2007) noted the level of substance abuse among students who had recently been truant from school. 10.9% reported smoking cigarettes in the last month. 20.2% reported alcohol use in the last month. 7.3% reported being intoxicated in the last month. 8.2% reported marijuana use in the last month.

Yes, participation in supervised activities will help, but it is not a cure all. It is just another step towards a resolution to the problem.

Cooley, Van E., and Others And. "A Study To Determine the Effect of Extracurricular Participation on Student Alcohol and Drug Use in Secondary Schools." (1992): ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 8 Apr. 2011.

Henry, Kimberly L. "Who's Skipping School: Characteristics of Truants in 8th and 10th Grade." Journal of School Health 77.1 (2007): 29-35. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 8 Apr. 2011.

Shilts, Lee. "The Relationship of Early Adolescent Substance Use to Extracurricular Activities, Peer Influence, and Personal Attitudes." Adolescence 26.103 (1991): 613-17. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 8 Apr. 2011.

The 2010 Porter County Epidemiological Profile

Comments: 21


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