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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1978 Jul;3(4):289-99.

Factors contributing to self-reported drug use among London undergraduates 1971-72.


A questionnaire study of drug taking by 1113 London University undergraduates has been undertaken. This paper sets out to relate drug taking to student life. The variables which discriminate those who have tried illicit drugs from those who have not are conceptualised as representing alienation from study, distance from authority, and separation from parents. These variables are consistent with a general factor best labelled "non-conformity". The variables which seem to discriminate between degrees of involvement in psychoactive substances are ease of obtaining cannabis, estimated percentage of friends who use drugs, use of tobacco, seeing someone inject themselves, operational use of substances (i.e. use for purposes other than recreation or pleasure), and choice of future career. These variables represent four overlapping factors which affect involvement with psychoactive substances: contact with drugs, contact with drug users, identification with the user class, and within-class deviance. While non-conformity appears to be the factor in student life predisposing students to try illicit drugs, the factors which affect the degree of involvement with such substances seem relatively independent of student status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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