Report: Dumb High School Students Do A Lot Of Cocaine

Jonah Bennett

A new study examining drug use in high school finds that students with poor grades are far more likely to use cocaine, heroin and other drugs than students with high grades.

Using data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), analyzed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and came up with some shocking findings, namely that over 35 percent of “F” students in high school have used cocaine at last once. A total of 13 percent have used it more than 40 times.

For “A” students, cocaine barely registers. Only 1.48 percent have used the drug 1-2 times.

High-performing students have an incredibly low rate of lifetime heroin usage. Only 0.43 percent reported using the drug once, compared to a rate of 6.21 percent for “F” students. But 10 percent of “F” students said they used heroin over 40 times. Only 0.85 percent of “A” students could say the same.

The negative performance effects of heroin and methamphetamines are largely accepted, particularly because repeated use changes neurological reward pathways and makes academic pursuit simply less interesting.

Marijuana, unsurprisingly, was the most commonly used drug. While overall teen drug use is in a decline, marijuana remains the exception to the rule. The use of illicit drugs in the past year by teens has dropped from a high of 34.1 percent in 1997 to 27.2 percent in 2014.

According to a 2014 survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use among teens is steady.

Exactly 11.7 percent of 8th graders and 35.1 percent of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past year.

It’s important to note, however, that this particular study does not establish causation. Instead, it just shows associations between variables. But other studies do indicate that drugs are a causative factor in explaining why students drop out of high school. Use of substances—even occasionally—can cause disinterest in school. Moreover, associating with students who regularly use substances only serves to compound that effect.

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