Teens Who Use Drugs Are More Likely to Engage in Violent and Delinquent Behavior

By Lunar Loops · Jun 20, 2007 · Updated Jun 20, 2007 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    No surprises in guessing where this report comes out of. Oh yes, it's more reefer madness style reports coming out of the US administration (in this case the Office of National Drug Control Policy). The inference is that if you take drugs of any sort at an early age, you will turn into an axe wielding homicidal maniac (quite possibly with two heads.....both of them bad). Now SWIS does think that it is not a good idea for school going children to take drugs of any sort (legal or illegal), but this really is stretching things. You can read the full report from the link provided in this abstract if you wish a good laugh / cry (depending on your take on this drivel). SWIS is sure he does not need to point out the skewed nature of these results. You can make statistics say whatever you want if you try hard enough and ignore other more mitigating factors. This from the ONDCP website:

    New Report Shows Teens Who Use Drugs Are More Likely to Engage in Violent and Delinquent Behavior


    (Philadelphia, PA)—John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, today released a new Special Report showing that teens who use drugs are more likely to engage in violent and delinquent behavior and join gangs. Early use of marijuana—the most commonly used drug among teens—is a warning sign for later gang involvement.
    The report, "Teens, Drugs, and Violence," released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) today in Philadelphia, shows that teens who use drugs are twice as likely to commit violent acts than those who do not. It also shows that the more drugs a teenager uses, the more likely they are to engage in violent behavior. They are also more likely to steal and use other illicit drugs and alcohol than non-users.
    "It is time—in fact, it is past time—for us to let go of 60's-era perceptions about marijuana," said ONDCP Director John Walters. "Today's research shows what too many families and communities have had to learn through painful experience: Drug use by teenagers isn't a 'lifestyle choice' or an act of 'personal expression;' it is a public health, and, increasingly, a public safety dilemma."
    Although overall teen drug use has declined by 23 percent in five years and youth marijuana use is down by 25 percent over the same time period, more teens use marijuana than any other illicit drug. Research shows that other than alcohol, marijuana is the most widely used substance in gang life, and children who use marijuana are nearly four times more likely to join gangs.
    The report also shows:
    • Teens who use drugs, particularly marijuana, are more likely to steal and experiment with other drugs and alcohol, compared to teens who don't;
    • One in four teens (27%) who used illicit drugs in the past year report attacking others with the intent to harm;
    • Nearly one in six teens (17%) who got into serious fights at school or work in the past year report using drugs;
    • Teens who use marijuana regularly are nine times more likely than teens who don't to experiment with other illicit drugs or alcohol, and five times more likely to steal; and
    • Teens who do abstain from drug use, particularly marijuana use, function better than users during the transition to young adulthood.
    "As our city works to create the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia, it's important to examine this link between teens using marijuana and being more likely to engage in violence," said youth behavior expert Ivan J. Juzang, Founder and President of Motivational Educational Entertainment Productions Inc. "Taking a prevention focus to ending youth violence means providing them with knowledge, support and positive alternatives so that they don't start using marijuana, which ultimately keeps our schools and communities safer."
    The report also shows that parents remain the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to illicit drugs. The majority of teens say the main reason they don't use drugs is fear of upsetting their parents or losing their respect. And teens who are supervised or involved in structured activities during after school hours are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use and violent or delinquent behaviors, than those youth who are unsupervised. Participation in after school activities can actually lead to better grades and improved behavior in teens.
    Youth Service America (YSA), an organization that expands the impact of the youth service movement with communities, schools, corporations, and governments, is partnering with ONDCP to promote youth service as a tool to positively engage young people in communities across the United States. To reach parents across the country, YSA will electronically distribute a tip sheet on the benefits of youth service that will reach 9,000 organizations across the country.
    "We know that kids who have a connection to their community are more committed to learning and personal achievement," said Steven Culbertson, YSA President and Chief Executive Officer. "Young people are our greatest resource and all have tremendous energy, passion, ingenuity, and idealism to help solve some of our most challenging problems."
    With many young people out of school for the summer, ONDCP is calling on parents and community organizations to ensure that teens are supervised and participating in activities that keep them away from drugs and other risky behavior. Traditionally, the summer months are risky times when it comes to drug use. Teen drug use rates have spiked during the months of June, July, and August. Other important steps parents can take to keep their kids drug-free include:
    • Setting expectations and clear "no drug use" rules and enforcing the consequences;
    • Know where your teen is on and offline. Monitor his real and digital world activities, such as Internet usage, text messaging, and social networking sites;
    • Talking to them about the importance of staying drug-free by outlining the risks of drug use and engaging them in regular discussions about rejecting peer pressure to use drugs;
    • Encouraging teens to become involved in productive after school and summer activities and staying in tune with community programs and available opportunities;
    • Staying involved in their teen's life and establishing a regular weekly routine for doing something together; and
    • Being observant and looking for indications that their child may be involved in drugs or other risky behavior.
    For more information about what parents can do to keep their teens away from drugs and other risky behaviors, visit the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign's Web site for parents: www.TheAntiDrug.com. The full report on "Teens, Drugs, and Violence" can be accessed at http://www.theantidrug.com/advice/advice_gangs.asp.
    Since its inception in 1998, the ONDCP's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has conducted outreach to millions of parents, teens and communities to prevent and reduce teen drug use. Counting on an unprecedented blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit community service organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications, the Campaign is designed to reach Americans of diverse backgrounds with effective anti-drug messages.
    For more information on the ONDCP National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, visit www.MediaCampaign.org

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  1. Orchid_Suspiria
    Violent behavior?Oh like piggies getting a little too happy with the nightstick?Like George Dubya and the piggies in camo shooting and torturing Iraqi civillians?Have they been smoking cannabis?Who are the ones more likely to participate in violent behavior?
  2. Alicia
    it depends on the asshole using the drug and whether there responsible for there actions, but naturally its very easy to blame something else one actions.
  3. Orchid_Suspiria
    And from what swim has seen teenagers often engage in violent and delinquent behavior perfectly well without the help of drugs,or they engage in it with the help of good ole alcohol.
  4. enquirewithin
    More reefer madness!
  5. stoneinfocus
    Yeah, making something you do illegal and you´ße a criminal, putting pressure on them for being criminal-> they get violent or aggressive, as every sane persone would for being accused wrongly or for no reason at all .. same old same old..

    let´s sing along...
  6. dutch-marshal
    looooooooool propoganda alert!! whoooooh alert alert...
    SWIM is from holland and there are NEVER fight is coffeeshops...but like everynight in bars and clubs...!
  7. Felonious Skunk
    I'd like to see Walters do the same research using socioeconomic strata as the independent variables.

    OK, one-by-one:

    • One in four teens (27%) who used illicit drugs in the past year report attacking others with the intent to harm;
    A more relevant study would be to examine all the attacks by teens "with intent to harm" and see what the substance usage breakdown is. My bet is on alcohol being the major instigative factor.
    • Nearly one in six teens (17%) who got into serious fights at school or work in the past year report using drugs;
    Aah. Here's where they fucked up. That means five out of six teens who got into fights at school or work in the past year did not report using drugs. Which could imply that the abstainers are more violent. Or more likely there's no significant connection. I mean fights at work and school usually have a lot to do with "dirty looks" and other stupid kid stuff--maybe they should do some research on that.

    • Teens who use marijuana regularly are nine times more likely than teens who don't to experiment with other illicit drugs or alcohol, and five times more likely to steal;
    Clever how they have implied that marijuana use causes teens to experiment with alcohol--contrary to most everyone's experience that alcohol is the first drug (with nicotine) they experiment with. Here the mostly-discredited "gateway drug" theory sneaks in through the back and rears its ugly little (but turned on its side) head. Walters can only expect to lose what little credibility he has left by releasing this kind of nonsense. He must have a really low opinion of the public's intelligence.

    • Teens who do abstain from drug use, particularly marijuana use, function better than users during the transition to young adulthood.
    Nice and nebulous. What does "function better" mean? Ability to follow orders?
  8. OccularFantasm
    That was a pretty rediculous article. Especially the one where 'scientifically' this guy proves that when kids have less time to do things, they cannot seem to smoke as many cigarettes or joints in a day. They could just as easily say the kids have less time to smile from all the extra activities and are therefore 3 times more likely to comit sicucide since teens who smile are in fact less likeley to commit suicide. Just found that to be fairly comical. Also how can they include those drugs together. Perscription pain killers, marijuana, and methamphetamines. Somethign tells me they added that last one to help with the 'research'. Swim has seen many a person on marijuana and different barages of opiates, and none of them are willing to get into a fight. Now if you add in the meth addicts, at leats 90 per cent of which incidents are limited to being arrested swim would have to assume, and magically all these statistics jump out. Also who would ever beleive that marijuana use leads to violence and drugs and gang membership. Okay maybe a few bible thumpers will listen, I mean they listen to the bible how dumb can one be; but hey what is swim talking about. Swim is probably jus trying to get in a fight from all that marijuana consumption.

    Oh yeah, and the part where kids are less likely to commit violent acts and drug taking while they are asleep by 6 fold, that may have been my favourite part. What are they gonna do, force all kids to take Rx sleeping pills all day to make them behave better. LOL.
  9. nalbano34
    Even though his is a very vague report, it does carry some weight. SWim would have to say that in certain types of lifestyles drugs are more commonly used. I have to say that if you were to go into a juvenile detention center and ask 200 people if they have used drugs on more then one occasion, at least 90% would claim to have. SWim does not think this means it is the cause of the delinquency, but it goes along with that lifestyle. SWim can feel the heat from this statement already......ahhh!
  10. Broshious
    Agreed. If I'm not mistaken the poor are more likely to use drugs and more likely to commit crimes.
  11. drbeer
    Another pure example of people not wanting to take responsability of their actions and using cannabis as "the reson to why people are violent". Weed will only make violent people violent (and even then, weed can calm some of them).

    SWIM never saw anyone who is only high wanting to fight (except for those agressive dumbasses who can't control themselves while under any effect (SWIM wonders if those people can even control themselves while totally sober)) but, as all other SWIYs, he has seen a lot of fights when there were drunks around him. What makes SWIM the sickest is that most people will believe this government bullshit (except all of the SWIYs out there)
  12. hh339
    Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    How stupid can people get? Check this out:

    Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence, youth Being Introduced To Drug At Younger Age

    WASHINGTON -- A new White House report out Wednesday has mixed news on drug use among teens.

    While fewer teens are using illegal drugs, it said even marijuana use can lead young people down a path toward violence, delinquency and gang involvement.

    John Walters, the director of National Drug Control Policy, said marijuana use increases the risk a child will become involved in gang activity fourfold. He also said the age at which children are first introduced to the drug is getting younger, sometimes as early as 11 years old.

    The drug czar said marijuana use and drinking are "blind spots" in the public's attitudes toward illegal drug use. He said alcohol and marijuana are often regarded as "soft" drugs in comparison to others like heroin, crack cocaine and meth.

    He said that's a mistake, because young people are "at a stage where they are trying to deal with the feelings of adults versus the feelings and impulses of children." When drugs impair judgment, he said, the result is erratic and out of control behavior.

    "It is time — in fact, it is past time — for us to let go of '60s-era perceptions about marijuana," Walters said. "Today's research shows what too many families and communities have had to learn through painful experience: Drug use by teenagers isn't a 'lifestyle choice' or an act of 'personal expression;' it is a public health, and, increasingly, a public safety dilemma."

    The report also shows that parents remain the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to illicit drugs. The majority of teens said the main reason they don't use drugs is fear of upsetting their parents or losing their respect.


  13. Felonious Skunk
    I think there's no denying that alcohol, as a depressant and with its ability to lower inhibitions and cause "blackouts," is probably the fuel for more violence than all other drugs combined--and I don't think this is due solely to its legal status.

    If anything, marijuana can raise inhibitions because of its paranoia-inducing properties in some people.
  14. enquirewithin
    Re: Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    John Walters is a failure. He'll say anything, no matter how dishonest. Where is the source of the claims that fewer teens are using illegal drugs and that marijuana increases the likelihood of teens becoming involved gang activity?
  15. x cynic x
    Re: Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    Yes, his opinion is so close-minded and prejudiced it's hard to see how anyone could believe him. Personally, marijuana has always calmed Swims nerves, disabling him to become violent even if he tried. Swim wants to see John Walters smoke marijuana, so he can speak with insight and experience.
  16. Bajeda
    Re: Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    It is time — in fact, it is past time — for us to let go of '30s era reefer madness.
  17. The Doors
    Re: Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    ^ Well said. There is countless studies that have proven the beneficial effects of marijuana and other drugs... Granted teenagers are generally not mature enough to use drugs, but it's not by lying to them that they will be able to make a reasoned and intellectual decision - but they don't care about that!
  18. Heretic.Ape.
    Re: Report: Marijuana Use Linked With Violence

    Here's a nice little peice about this disinformation. Enjoy.

    [h1] Marijuana & Violence? [/h1] ​
    Distortion: "Research shows that kids who use marijuana weekly are nearly four times more likely than nonusers to report they engage in violent behavior."
    — Office of National Drug Control Policy, Marijuana Myths & Facts, from the web at http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/marijuana_myths_facts/myth4.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/marijuana_myths_facts/myth4.pdf, last accessed April 13, 2006.

    This is a misinterpretation of research. ONDCP claims an association between drug use and anti-social behavior. They imply yet don't specifically claim causality and quote parts of some research while omitting findings that don't support their assertion.
    In this myth, the ONDCP claimed to be supported by two studies:
    Greenblatt, J. Adolescent selfreported behaviors and their association with marijuana use. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Based on data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 19941996, 1998.
    Friedman, AS; Glassman, K; Terras, A. Violent behavior as related to use of marijuana and other drugs. Journal of Addictive Diseases. 20:4970, 2001.
    First, the Greenblatt piece published by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. She observes near the beginning of the article that "In completing the YSR [Youth Self Report], youths were asked to read the list of 118 statements and indicate if the statement was not true, somewhat or sometimes true, or very or often true for them. Although causal conclusions about the relationship between substance use and problems cannot be drawn from the NHSDA data alone, these data provide a useful complement to other studies. While the reported behaviors are not necessarily caused by the use of marijuana or, conversely, the cause of marijuana use, there appears to be a strong positive correlation between the reporting of certain behaviors and reported frequency of marijuana use. The more frequent the use, the more likely the 12-17 year olds were to report problem behaviors."
    Her report actually concludes:
    "This report shows that among those age 12-17, past year marijuana users were more likely than nonusers to report problem behaviors in the past 6 months. Further, for the majority of items measured, the more frequent the use, the more likely the youths were to report problem behaviors.
    "The more frequent users were more likely to be the older youths (6 out of 10 were age 16-17), white, male, to live in a metropolitan area and the West. They were more likely than less frequent users to have moved in the past year and are less likely to live in a 2-parent family. Frequent marijuana users were more likely than less frequent users to report delinquent behaviors such as running away from home, stealing, and cutting classes or skipping school. They were also more likely than less frequent users to report aggressive behaviors such as destroying things that belong to others and physically attacking people. Monthly or more often users were more likely than less frequent users to have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs or sold illegal drugs in the past year. From a psychological view, youths who used marijuana in the past year reported many behaviors symptomatic of anxiety and depression. Users were 2 to 4 times more likely than nonusers to report they think about killing themselves or that they deliberately try to hurt or kill themselves. They weremore likely than nonusers to say they were unhappy, sad or depressed and that they feel "no one loves me". The users were more likely than nonusers to report that "others are out to get me" and "I am suspicious".
    "Regardless of whether the problem behaviors preceded marijuana use or marijuana use preceded the behaviors (which we are not able to ascertain from the NHSDA), it is apparent from these data that the marijuana users are exhibiting many signs of anxiety and depression and exhibiting delinquent and aggressive behaviors far in excess of the nonusers. Further, there appears to be a high correlation between the presence of many of these reported behaviors and the frequency of marijuana use."
    The Friedman research which ONDCP references is even more limited and less generally applicable to society as a whole. As noted in the article itself, "Thus, the sample for this study was not strictly representative of an inner-city, low SES, African-American community. It is, rather, roughly representative of that part of such a community that had been involved in the use of drugs." (pp. 56-7)
    The article notes further that:
    "Drug use by persons with antisocial personality could reasonably be expected to increase any tendency to act violently. On the other hand, such drug use has also been postulated to be an attempt to assuage violent tendencies through self-medication. To the extent that this might occur, it indicates that having violent tendencies can predispose to substance use/abuse, which is the converse of the relationship proposed for study in this paper. Accordingly, it is a potential confounding factor that should to be controlled for in the analyses performed for our study." (p. 52)
    And finally, the authors note specifically that:
    "A disclaimer, or a note of caution, is indicated against over-generalizing the findings of a linkage between marijuana use with drug selling in the inner-city and with involvement in serious types of criminal and violent behavior. These significant marijuana-violence linkages that have been found for this study sample may not apply to a representative sample of the general population. The findings presented here may be specific for the sample of this study: an inner-city, relatively low SES, African/American sample. As postulated in the introductory section of this paper, marijuana use during adolescence is fairly widespread in this study sample, especially within specific peer groups. The regular users of marijuana maintain contact with the sellers of drugs, and thus become more familiar with the criminal life style, which may lead to a tendency to engage in drug selling themselves, and thus to a greater likelihood of committing violent illegal offenses. The drug sellers from whom they originally obtained the cocaine and other drugs during their adolescence, most likely were adolescent peers who grew up in similar circumstances to their own. The majority in the sample need the money. Some are helping their families financially with some of the money they earn from selling drugs. Thus, a peer bonding and friendship develops between the buyer/user and his drug provider. The buyer/user becomes a new seller, and eventually finds himself in circumstances in which engaging in violent illegal behavior is routine and is considered to be acceptable. "These findings on the degree of relationship of substance use to violent behavior may be somewhat inflated since we do not have available for control purposes, data on all the possible factors, in addition to substance use, that may be involved in violent behavior, (i.e., all of the relevant characteristics, behavior and life circumstances of the subjects, that predispose to violent behavior). The fact that there were available as many as 51 such relevant characteristics for use as control variables in the analyses, may be considered to be a relative strength of the study. On the other hand, it is a weakness, or a limitation of this study, that data on some of the factors or influences that are known to predispose to violent behavior were not available for the analyses. An outstanding example of such an influence is the amount of time spent during childhood and adolescence in watching TV programs and films that present violent behavior in an interesting and exciting manner. Such entertainment programs sometimes present, as heroic figures, characters who use drugs and engage in violence. In any case, the lack of more complete control data should not be a significantly greater problem for determining the effect of the use of marijuana on violent behavior, than this lack would be for the effect of the use of any other type of drug. Thus, it would not explain why the degree of marijuana use was found to have a greater degree of relationship to certain types of violent behavior, when compared to the degree of cocaine/crack use." (pp. 68-9)
    Other research examining the question of marijuana and violence was published by the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice in 2004. In "Teasing Apart the Developmental Associations Between Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Violence," Wei et al. examined data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study on 503 young males. They concluded:
    "With regard to the associations between early frequent marijuana use and later violence, our conclusions are similar to those of White et al. (1999), in that what we are seeing is a selection effect. In other words, marijuana use is more atypical during early adolescence and becomes more normative with age, and the subset of males who begin marijuana use at younger ages are at elevated risk for several serious outcomes, including poly drug use, violence, and property offending. It is likely that this subgroup of males is inherently more deviant, engaging in multiple problem behaviors at earlier ages, choosing deviant peers, and being more likely to manifest their individual propensity for aggression and antisocial behavior later on. Our findings reinforce the benefits of primary prevention efforts that address multiple risk factors early on, as well as early intervention with high risk or aggressive males.
    "Because the proportion of violent individuals who used marijuana frequently was larger than the proportion of frequent marijuana users engaging in violence, and because the prediction of violence from earlier frequent marijuana use was mediated by common risk factors, our results do not indicate that early frequent marijuana use causes later violence. Rather, we conclude that frequent marijuana use and violence co-occur because they share common risk factors (e.g., race/ethnicity, hard drug use). It is important to keep in mind that marijuana has been used for centuries and is the most widely used illicit drug today and that the majority of marijuana users do not engage in violence (Boles & Miotto, 2003). Our findings indicate that intervention with young violent offenders to prevent or treat substance use problems may be more practical than targeting marijuana users for violence prevention."
  19. Heretic.Ape.
    US drug czar urges random student testing

    [h1]U.S. drug czar urges random student testing[/h1] [h5]By Andrew Maykuth[/h5] [h6]Inquirer Staff Writer[/h6] The nation's drug czar came to Philadelphia yesterday to draw a link between teen violence and drug use - especially marijuana - and urged schools to embrace random student drug testing. Venturing to a city with one of America's highest murder rates, John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said young substance abusers were more likely to engage in violence and to join gangs.
    Walters timed his visit with the release of a three-page "special report" from his office that reinforced a correlation between drug use and violence. The report was based on studies conducted during the last decade.
    "Early use of marijuana is an important warning sign, national data shows us, for later involvement with gangs as well as criminal self-destructive activities," Walters said at a news briefing.
    Walter said that children who smoke marijuana were four times more likely to join gangs, and that pot was second to alcohol as the most widely used substance in gang life.
    "Marijuana use is not harmless," he said. "We need to abandon that notion."
    Walter's emphasis on the dangers of pot-smoking drew an immediate rebuke from the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington advocacy group. Bruce Mirken, the organization's spokesman, said research showed that marijuana doesn't cause violence and aggression.
    "They're deliberately confusing a correlation with causation," he said, calling Walter's claims "shockingly misleading and dishonest."
    Walters conducted the briefing before an audience of youth advocates at the Lehigh Avenue offices of the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. His announcement of the report touched off anticipation that the federal government would back his words with money.
    "Most of the time when you see a new report, you also see a shift in some funding strategies," said Darryl Coates, the organization's executive director.
    But Walters offered little hope that more money would be forthcoming, saying that the federal government's emphasis was on law enforcement and that federal prosecutors could really focus only on adult drug offenders.
    "Juveniles should be treated by state and local authorities, who are better able to provide alternatives," he said.
    But Walters encouraged schools to test students randomly for drugs, not as a punishment, but to force an intervention.
    "I know it's controversial," he said, saying that more than 1,000 school districts had embraced drug testing since President Bush advocated the practice more than three years ago.
    Walter endorsed support for adult-supervised activities, especially after-school programs, during the time of day when youths are more likely to commit violent crimes.
    "With summer upon us, that's a particular challenge because you're going to have obviously more people out of school and needing proper guidance," he said. "Drug-use trends tend to spike during June, July and August, not coincidentally, because they are not under supervision of adults as they are during school year."
  20. old hippie 56
    Re: US drug czar urges random student testing

    That last sentence nailed it, "tends to spike during June, July, August",is he blaming the parents for the kids drug use? It ain't the parents fault, that they must work two jobs to make ends meet. One way to solve the problem is legalized weed and put it behind the counter. Or, have a twelve month school year.
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