The relationship between the consumption of various drugs by adolescents and their academic achievement

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2002;28(1):15-35. doi: 10.1081/ada-120001279.


This study uses the NELS data set to assess the relationship between adolescent patterns of the consumption of marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and cigarette consumption and their academic achievement. The results of the study indicate that increased frequency of cigarette smoking and being under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol did frequently have an impact on adolescent academic achievement. When all types of drug consumption were considered together, cigarette smoking, being drunk, and under the influence of alcohol while at school were the variables that produced the most consistent statistically significant effects. Being under the influence of cocaine generally produced the largest regression coefficients, but the effects were often not statistically significant, which may in part be due to the small portion of students who reported being under the influence of cocaine while at school. When examined separately, being under the influence of cocaine and marijuana each had consistently statistically significant effects on academic achievement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Underachievement*