Erowid References Database
Smart RG, Fejer D.
“Six years of cross-sectional surveys of student drug use in Toronto”.
Recently many studies have been made of drug use by adolescents but almost all of these are of populations at one point in time However, the study reported here is the fourth conducted among Toronto students in the past 6 years. Smart and Fejer 1971 reviewed many of these studies conducted in Canada up to 1970 and Berg 1970 provided a comprehensive review of non-medical drug use in the United States. A more recent review of the world-wide literature on the epidemiology of hallucinogenic and psychoactive drugs was undertaken by Mercer and Smart 1974. As mentioned above, this study is one of a series conducted in metropolitan Toronto. The first was undertaken in 1968 and studies were repeated at two-year intervals until 1974. With the exception of 1970 when grade 6 students were also included, each study has sampled students in grades 7, 9, 11, and 13. Data from ìhc earlier studies indicated a dramatic increase in the use of alcohol, marihuana, barbituates, opiates, LSD, and other hallucinogins between 1968 and 1970. At this time, references to chemical revolution', 'the drug age', and 'the turned-on' generation were common and probably apt. However, between 1970 and 1972 the use of many drugs, especially the illicit ones maribnanu, opiates, speed,' LSD and other hallucinogens appeared to stabilize increases were small or little change was found. Alcohol use continued to increase between 1970 and 1972 but at a slower rate than during the preceding two years. Thc present study attempted to assess whether this relative stabilization continued to the present or whether new patterns of drug use emerged. Thc authors have been unable to find more than one long term study of drug use in English.The only other study following drug use in a particular area over an extended period of time has been conducted by the San Mateo County Department of Public Health and Welfare 1974. Annual studies were conducted among high school students in Sun Mateo County tram 1968 to 1974. As in the Toronto study the USC of many drugs i.c., alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, marihuana and LSD increased substantially between 1968 and 1971 and then the rate of increase tended to slow down or stabilize. The 1974 data from this study indicated that the use of very few drugs had increased over the past year and definite declines were found in the use of barbiturates and tobacco. Alcohol else continued to increase in San Mateo County as it had from 1968. Since so few long term trend studies are available it is of interest to compare the data from the Toronto studies with that of the San Mateo study.
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