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The 'Typical' Meth User May Surprise You

By January 30, 2007

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The "typical" student user of methamphetamine probably does not meet the profile you might expect. According to Pride Surveys, the typical adolescent user of meth is a 17-year-old white male who lives with both parents, who first tried meth at age 12.6, is an underperformer in school and does not think the drug is harmful to his health.

Both parents of the typical meth user are fully employed and most graduated from high school and attended college. According to the 3,000 meth users surveyed, 33.4 percent said those parents would not find it wrong for they used marijuana and 30.4 percent said their parents wouldn't object if they used other drugs.

Prior to the 2005-2006 school year, Pride Surveys received 101,141 responses to their anonymous student questionnaire for grades 6-12. Of those responding, 3.1 percent reported using meth at least once in the past year and 2 percent reported using it monthly.

Hard Core Drug Users

According to the report, other highlights from the survey include:

  • More than half (51.1 percent) find meth to be "very easy" to obtain. Another 12.5 percent said "fairly easy."

  • The meth users of the student group constitute a hard-core group of drug users with 74.7 percent reporting monthly use of marijuana, compared to 8.2 percent among other students.

  • Three-fourths of the student meth users (77.3 percent) said their friends use marijuana sometimes, or more frequently, with more than half (51.9 percent) smoking pot "a lot."

  • Daily tobacco use was reported by 52.9 percent among meth users, compared with 6 percent in the rest of the student population.

  • Daily alcohol use was reported by 39.5 percent, compared with 1.1 percent among non-users.

The age breakdown for meth users was: 19+ years (6.4 percent); 18 years (9 percent); 17 years (18.1 percent); 16 years (16 percent); 15 years (15.9 percent); 14 years (13 percent); 13 years (10 percent); 12 years (6.1 percent); 11 years (2.8 percent); 10 and under years (2.6 percent).

More About Meth:

Photo: DEA
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