private schools and drug abuse in california

Do California’s Elite Private Schools Protect Against Drug Abuse?

This entry was posted on .

There are studies conducted by various groups of researchers regarding drug and alcohol abuse in teenagers. One of them these studies comes from research in California that reveals elite private schools are more prone to have drug and alcohol abuse cases among young students. As a matter of fact, they showed that girls from these elite schools are 3 times as likely to experience addictions compared to their less wealthy peers in the public school system.

What Does the New Research Say?

Those students living in affluent areas and attending elite schools tend to have higher risks of using ecstasy, cocaine, and cannabis, according to researchers from Arizona State University. They also mentioned that in later life, these teens are more prone to get involved in drug use despite the privileged life they seem to have. Boys are three times more likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs in their early adult life.

The respondents were two groups of teens from affluent communities in England. They were first assessed in their high school senior year. It was followed by yearly assessments throughout their college years. The researchers continued to assess them between the ages of 23 and 27. From these comprehensive assessments, researchers have found appallingly higher rates of drug use among these young adults, as compared to students who attended public schools.

Psychology Professor Suniya Luthar from Arizona State University also said that the results gathered indicated that both boys and girls had substantial increases in drug usage throughout the annual assessments. Their studies found that these private school students later went on to use large quantities of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, Adderall, and to no surprise, alcohol.

How Serious Are These Drug Cases among Teens?

19 percent to 24 percent of women coming from older age groups were engaged in some forms of addiction, unlike the 23 percent to 40 percent of men who are in older aged groups. These rates, according to Prof Luthar, were 3 to 4 times as high as the federal norms. In the younger circle, specifically at 22 years of age, addiction rates rose from 11 percent to 16 percent in girls. That is nearly hitting the federal norms. However, the 19 percent to 27 percent in boys, was roughly two times higher compared to federal norms.

With closer analysis, researchers have also seen a pattern where respondents with higher rates and longer periods of drug abuse were from elite schools. The study was published in the Development and Psychopathology journal department.Professor Luthar suggested that one of the reasons for these findings is that these students have more pressure to achieve.

The mentality they live with is to work hard, play hard. And since they have more money than their less affluent peers, they are able to buy recreational drugs and alcohol, as well as fake IDs. However, Professor Luthar stated that not all the students who responded to the study were from rich families, although most of them were. Undoubtedly, most parents, just like their children, were aiming for more privileged universities to study from.

Why Parents May Have Overlooked This

Parents of the children could have been mistaken by the security guarantee provided by private schools. Professor Luthar suggested that they can trust their kids to behave well in exchange for good grades. The professor also warned the parents to never trivialize alcohol and drug use as something that normal teens do nowadays. These teens should be guided as early as their school years so that they will understand the dangers of using drugs and alcohol.

Prof Luthar additionally advised the parents that the early exposure of kids to drugs and alcohol can develop deeper attachments, making it harder to let go of the habit. Improved education regarding sex and relationship among schools, not only private schools, could help children in moving forward.

Takeaways from the Study

  • Informing children about the risks brought by drug addiction is the most effective way to prevent drug use, not costly private school.
  • These elite schools should be more aware of the conditions and pressures faced by the students to help them overcome their problems. That way, they will not resort to drugs, alcohol, and other substances that are bad for their health.
  • Alternative life paths should also be shown to these young students so they will be able to handle their problems like a mature person. For instance, parents could make themselves models for their kids in finishing their studies even if they go to less affluent schools.

The Need for More Studies Like This

Professor Luthar mentioned that researchers like her should be encouraged to conduct more studies in order to help kids become aware of the negative effects of using marijuana while in school. Also, she added that most kids feel more pressured from the high expectations of their parents. Thus, the parents should be more understanding of the difficulties that their children may face in school.

You may wish to send your child to an elite school so they can enjoy a brighter future and become successful in life. However, what’s really important is the guidance and attention you give your children so they will not end up abusing drugs or feeling alone in life. It doesn’t matter if you are sending your kids to private or non-private schools as long as you can provide them with proper schooling, love and parental support. After all, drugs and alcohol are already rampant worldwide.

Bottom Line

Surely, there are plenty of advantages in elite California schools, but considering this recent study conducted at Arizona State University, you might want to think twice before sending your kids to such privileged schools if you think it’s going to keep them away from drugs or alcohol.. Parents need to be vigilant in monitoring current trends and staying on top of their child’s activities. You can double your efforts in making sure that you are not spoiling your kids to the point they become drug and alcohol dependents. So, as a responsible parent, how can you guarantee your child’s safety from drug use while they are at school? In truth, you can’t but through better parenting and love, you can show them that those substances are unnecessary.

About the author: