School drug policies may affect marijuana use among young people

A new study looks at how student marijuana use is influenced by the type of drug policy used by a school. There are two specific drug policies that this research mentions: out-of-school suspension and abstinence-based prevention and counselling. Using data from the International Youth Development Study researchers analysed results from school administrators and 3,264 students in grades 7 and 9 (12 and 14 years) in 188 American and Australian schools. They found that students who attended schools with out-of-school suspension policies for incidents of illicit drugs were 1.6 times more likely than students who attended schools with abstinence-based policies to be marijuana users the following year. These are important findings because they show the direct impact school drug policies have on young lives. These findings can also be used by schools to adopt the best and most effective drug policies.