Our student presenter talked about vaping, prescription drug misuse, pharm parties, and molly. We discussed increasing and decreasing trends over time for specific drugs, and differences by college vs. non-college, and country (Monitoring the Future is a great resource for substance use prevalence rates. Also, check out vast differences by country across Europe). Here’s one example of a graph I made a couple of years ago from the ESPAD website:
And we talked about one of the aspects of substance use that interests me most, event specific drinking/prevention. This topic included work that shows that: (1) college students drink more at spring break, but only if they go on trips with friends; (2) if examined on a week by week basis, college students drink more during the times they’re away from school, such as, in addition to spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years (and also Guavaween); (3) Saint Patrick’s Day only causes a major change in drinking (measured as BAC) if it’s on a normally non-drinking day; if it’s on a Thursday, it’s not that different from other Thursdays. We talked about my research group’s study on State Patty’s Day – a student constructed holiday that led to increased drinking and increased police reported offenses. And different ways to approach college student drinking.
Finally, one student shared an article that used peer network analysis to demonstrate that even after controlling for friends’ alcohol use, friends’ parents’ knowledge/monitoring and discipline were linked to adolescents’ own alcohol use. That is, adolescents’ friends’ parents may have an influence on adolescents’ alcohol use behavior (don’t know how I feel about this finding as a parent. I used to hope that my children would have nerdy friends, but now I also have to think about the friends’ parents!).
“The post This week in Adolescent Development: Substance use first appeared on Eva Lefkowitz’s blog on April 7, 2014.”