Drug Abuse Leads to Increased Teen Drop-out

clip_image002[2] (59 x 72)Talbot Partnership for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Prevention reports that researchers have found that teen drug abuse increases the risk of failure at school. This includes poor academic performance which can lead to increased truancy and drop-out rates.

Experts at the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. (IBH) and the Center on Young Adult Health and Development (CYAHD) at the University of Maryland School of Public Health investigated the connection between adolescent substance use and the risk for dropout in the U.S. and published a report about their findings (March 2013). The following conclusions were made:

• The associations between substance use, academic failure, and dropout are strong and well-recognized among researchers and educators who study adolescent substance use, but they are rarely acknowledged in educational circles or among state and federal policy makers.
• There is compelling evidence that the association of academic difficulties and substance use is bidirectional. In some individuals, academic difficulties precede the onset of substance use. In other cases, even controlling for individual background characteristics, substance use precedes and contributes to academic failure and dropout, especially when substance use is frequent and severe.
• Little is being done to screen for substance use in pediatric and educational settings, and even less is being done to address escalating substance use problems among adolescents at risk for dropout.
• Of all the problems that contribute to dropping out, substance use is one of the easiest to identify and one of the most easily stopped by interventions including treatment.

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Prevention advises that while School dropout is a complex problem, there is general agreement about the link between substance use, academic failure, and dropout rates. Gary Pearces, Executive Director for Talbot Partnership advises: “Students who drop out of school face a difficult future. They are more likely to be unemployed, incarcerated, and/or impoverished. Family involvement is one of the most important contributors to school completion and success. When families are involved, students are more likely to refrain from destructive activities such as alcohol and drug use.”

For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.