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December 1983

Drug Use by Junior High and High School Students

Author Affiliations

Vienna, Va

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(12):836. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800260058014

To the Editor.—In 1982, illicit drug use by American adolescents was of pandemic proportions. The results of a statistically sound questionnaire on drug use distributed to 4,775 sixth-through 12th-grade students in the picturesque city of Winchester, Va,1 disclose some shocking information.

Of 239 ninth-grade students, (1) 13% smoke cigarettes daily, (2) 34% had tried marijuana by the age of 15 years, (3) 12% smoke marijuana at least once a week, (4) 3% smoke marijuana every day, and (5) 5% had tried cocaine by the age of 15 years.

Of the entire group of 4,775 students (1) 11% had tried cocaine at least once, (2) 1.3% use cocaine at least weekly, (3) 3% smoke marijuana daily, and (4) 6% smoke marijuana before or during school.

Results of the Winchester study are similar to those of a national survey of 18,700 high school seniors2 and to those of a

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