Research Article

Knowledge and experience of young people of drug abuse 1969-84.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 18 January 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:179
  1. J D Wright,
  2. L Pearl


    An anonymous questionnaire survey of the knowledge and experience of drug abuse among fourth year pupils in three Wolverhampton secondary schools in 1969, 1974, 1979, and 1984 showed familiarity with the names of drugs but considerable ignorance and misunderstanding about how the drugs were taken and their dangers. The proportion of pupils who knew someone taking illicit drugs almost doubled over the period from 15% in 1969 to 28% in 1984, and the proportion of those who had been offered illicit drugs almost trebled, from 5% in 1969 to 14% in 1984. Television remained the most important source of information about drugs. Peer group and social pressures continued to be the most important reason for starting to take drugs. The results of this study endorse the need for continued evaluation of programmes of education about drugs. Such programmes must be part of a wider programme of health and social education, define clear goals, and be sensitive to culture, locality, and ability.