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July 1989

Drug Usage Among Adolescents: A Survey From a Pediatric/Adolescent Practice

Author Affiliations

Division of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation 10666 N Torrey Pines Rd La Jolla, CA 92037

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(7):765-766. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150190015007

Sir.—Studies have documented alcohol and other drug usage among the adolescent population. In 1985, in a study of over 17000 high school students, 75% admitted to trying alcohol, 60% marijuana, and 16% cocaine.1 Because these statistics, along with other statistics from similar studies, involve a cross section of the population, the percentages of drug usage by adolescents in a given practice might be very different. Depending on many factors, including demographics, socioeconomic status, ethnic population served, and geographic areas (urban vs rural), the figures in any pediatric practice may be dissimilar to the figures quoted.

In dealing with the problem of drug usage/abuse in an adolescent population in one's own practice, it might be beneficial to know what the statistics are in regard to drug usage in the population being served. In the process of obtaining information about the deliberate intoxication of children and pets by adolescents, I

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