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Subst Use Misuse. 2004 May;39(6):931-62.

Relationship of substance use by students with disabilities to long-term educational, employment, and social outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee 37920, USA.


The study is based on data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988-2000 (NELS: 88). The results indicate that adolescents with disabilities who used either cigarettes or marijuana or who engaged in binge drinking had significantly higher dropout rates, lower high school graduation status, lower college attendance, and lower high school grade point averages, and fewer earned core credit units in English, science, and mathematics than nonusers. In addition, adolescents with disabilities who used either cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs were significantly more likely to engage in sexual activity at a younger age. The findings support the need for improved substance use prevention programming targeting the needs of youth with disabilities.

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