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Home > Smoking, drinking and other drug use among Dublin post-primary school pupils.

Economic and Social Research Institute. Grube, Joel W and Morgan, Mark (1986) Smoking, drinking and other drug use among Dublin post-primary school pupils. Dublin: ESRI.

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This study investigates the social-psychological factors related to drug substance use among Dublin post-primary students. The study was undertaken using a panel survey design in which the same sample completed anonymous questionnaires on three occasions. The sample frame consisted of 24 randomly selected post-primary schools in the greater Dublin area. Over two-thirds of the sample had smoked a cigarette at some times in their lives, over one-third had smoked during the month prior to the survey and almost one-quarter currently were regular smokers. Almost two-thirds of the students had consumed a whole drink of an alcoholic beverage on at least one occasion; nearly half had done so within the previous month and over one-third were regular drinkers. About two-thirds of those who ever drank had been drunk at least once. Just over one-fifth of the students had tried other drugs apart from tobacco and alcohol.

The most popular illicit drugs were glue or other inhalants and marijuana. About 13% had tried each of these substances. Other drugs showed much lower lifetime prevalence rates. In terms of current use, 8.4% of the students reported having used at least one drug during the previous month. As with the lifetime rates, inhalants and marijuana were the most frequently used drugs. Comparisons with other countries suggest that although the rate of inhalant use is relatively high the use of other drugs is low by international standards. Based on the results the authors recommend school programmes to combat the use of cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs by students. Techniques that focus on persuasion through immediate consequences of drug use are suggested rather than 'miseducation' that exaggerates harmful effects.


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