ImpacTeen Research Papers
Adolescent Patterns for Acquisition and Consumption of Alcohol, Tobacco and Illicit Drugs: A Qualitative Study
Slater S, Balch G, Wakefield M, Chaloupka F, February 2001.
In order to better understand where youth acquire alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, this paper reports on information obtained from focus groups of 8h or 10th through 12th grade students which were intended to provide basic information about youth patterns of acquisition and consumption, and to help identify types of community boundaries. Data was obtained from the transcripts of 12 focus groups. Questions were asked to determine if there are differences in how kids acquire and use various substances (specifically alcohol, tobacco and marijuana)Êbased on their age, type of community (rural, suburban or urban), or in what region (North, South, East or West) of the country they live. This research strongly indicates that alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are perceived as readily available to teens within their community. Moreover, it appears that it is easier for teens to obtain marijuana than to obtain legal substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. The results of this study imply that increasing penalties, enforcement, retail education of minimum-age laws, and strict store policies is one way to reduce adolescent substance use. However, the area of social sources as method for obtaining alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs by adolescents is an important area of focus for future research.