DRUG ABUSE: More Prevalent Among Rural Teens, Study Reports
Teens in small towns and rural areas are significantly more likely to use drugs than their urban counterparts, a private study reports. Researchers at Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse examined 1999 data and found that rural eighth graders are 104% likelier to use amphetamines, 50% likelier to use cocaine, 83% likelier to use crack cocaine and 34% more apt to smoke marijuana. Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, "While people may erroneously associate drug abuse with urban communities, drug abuse attacks our small cities and rural areas with equal ferocity." Joseph Califano, president of the research group, said that rural authorities' lack of resources and experience only aggravates the problem. He challenged the Clinton administration and Congress to create an "emergency aid" package to help rural fight drug abuse that would match "dollar- for-dollar" the $1.6 billion, two-year aid plan proposed for anti-drug efforts in Colombia (Armas, Associated Press, 1/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.