Drugs and guns among inner-city high school students

J Drug Educ. 1994;24(4):303-21. doi: 10.2190/2HLA-AG7K-X2AL-G9D5.


Despite public and governmental concern about the issue, little has occurred in the way of a systematic assessment of the gun-possession profiles of young persons involved in the use and distribution of drugs. This article reports the results of an analysis of survey data collected from male, inner-city high school students. The data pertain to firearms possession and carrying, use of heroin, cocaine, and crack, the sale of drugs, and commission of crimes with weapons. The findings offer no evidence of a progressive, linear relationship between level of drug use and gun possession (including number of guns owned and the routine carrying of guns). However, disregarding level of drug use, when non-users were compared with users, and "heavy" users were compared with those who did not use drugs "heavily," significant differences in involvement in gun possession did appear. As well, when we separated students who did not sell drugs from those who did, the latter generally exhibited higher involvement in gun possession. Finally, drug sellers who also committed crimes with weapons exceeded drug sellers who did not in involvement in some, but not all, types of gun possession.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Illicit Drugs