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Posts from the ‘Middle School’ Category

30
Jan

Smoking Pot Affects Employment Opportunities

For example, many high school graduates go into the military service.  In a recent article by Rob Powers at About.Com, he reported…

“Individuals applying to join the active duty Army, the Army Reserves, and Army National Guard are given a drug test as part of their medical physical at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Individuals who test positive for marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine may still enlist (with a waiver), if they pass a re-test after a specified waiting period.

Waiting periods are required under the following circumstances: Positive for marijuana and alcohol

  • If applicant’s first test is positive, he/she must wait 45 days for retest. (Recruiting battalion commander is the waiver approval authority.)
  • If applicant’s second test is positive, he/she must wait 1 year for a retest. (The Commanding General, HQ Army Recruiting Command is the waiver approval authority.) •If applicant’s third test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified. Positive for cocaine •If applicant’s first test is positive, he/she must wait 1 year for a retest. (Recruiting battalion commander is the approval authority.)
  • If applicant’s second test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified. Positive for drugs other than marijuana, alcohol, or cocaine
  • If applicant’s first test is positive, he/she is permanently disqualified. Prior service personnel
  • Prior service personnel who test positive at MEPS for any illegal drug or alcohol are permanently disqualified. All applicants who test positive will be required to have police records check accomplished as part of the waiver process regardless of any admission or record of civil offenses.
  • Applicants with an approved drug alcohol test waiver are prohibited from enlisting in any MOS or option that requires a security clearance.”

Read the article http://usmilitary.about.com/od/armyjoin/a/drugtestpos.htm

30
Jan

American Society of Addiction Medicine on Pot

The American Society of Addition Medicine says Marijuana is a mood-altering drug capable of producing dependency. Its chief active ingredient is THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol), but there are many other ingredients.

Marijuana has been shown to have adverse effects on memory and learning, on perception, behavior and functioning, and on pregnancy. Because of the widespread use of this drug, its effects on mind and body, and the increasing potency of available supplies.

Persons suffering from alcoholism and other drug dependencies should be educated about the need for abstinence from marijuana and its role in precipitating relapse, even if their original drug of choice is other than marijuana.

Treatment programs providing addictions treatment for chemically dependent patients should include tests for cannabinoids with other drug test panels and consider test results when designing treatment plans.

Read the report ASAM Statement on Marijuana

11
Jan

The Facts About Marijuana

1. Our current legal drugs—alcohol and tobacco—are examples of commercialized products with addiction potential and high usage rates fueled by easy availability. Although these products are taxed, neither produces a net economic benefit to society. The healthcare and criminal justice costs associated with alcohol and tobacco far surpass the tax revenue they generate, and little of the taxes collected on these substances is contributed to the offset of their substantial social and health costs.
 
2. Federal excise taxes collected on alcohol in 2007 totaled around $9 billion and states collected around $5.6 billion.   Taken together, this is less than 10 percent of the more than $185 billion in alcohol-related social costs such as healthcare, lost productivity, and criminal justice system expenses.53 Nor does tobacco carry its economic weight when taxed: each year, tobacco use generates only about $23 billion in taxes but results in more than $183 billion per year in direct medical expenses as well as lost productivity.
 
3. Advocates of legalization say the costs of prohibition, mainly through the criminal justice system, place a great burden on taxpayers and governments. While there are certainly costs to current prohibitions, legalizing drugs would not cut costs associated with the criminal justice system. 
 
4. Marijuana use is the highest it has been in 8 years. In 2010, daily marijuana use increased significantly among all three grades surveyed (8th, 10th, and 12th graders) in the Monitor The Future (MTF) study. 
 
5. One in 11 people who start marijuana use will become addicted—a rate that rises to one in six when use begins during adolescence.   In 2009, marijuana was involved in 376,000 emergency department visits nationwide.
 
6. Making matters worse, confusing messages being conveyed by the entertainment industry, media, proponents of “medical” marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana use is harmless and aim to establish commercial access to the drug. This significantly diminishes efforts to keep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from addiction.
 
7. The Administration steadfastly opposes drug legalization. Legalization runs counter to a public health approach to drug control because it would increase the availability of drugs, reduce their price, undermine prevention activities, hinder recovery support efforts, and pose a significant health and safety risk to all Americans, especially our youth.

8. There is no substitute for the scientific approval process employed by the FDA. For a drug to be made available to the public as medicine, the FDA requires rigorous research followed by tests for safety and efficacy. Only then can a substance be classified as medicine and prescribed by qualified health care professionals to patients.
 
9. In the wake of state and local laws that permit distribution of “medical” marijuana, dozens of localities have been left to grapple with poorly written laws that bypass the FDA process and allow marijuana to be used as a so-called medicine. John Knight, director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children’s Hospital Boston, recently wrote: “Marijuana has gotten a free ride of sorts among the general public, who view it as non-addictive and less impairing than other drugs. However, medical science tells a different story.”
 
10. Similarly, Christian Thurstone, a board-certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, an Addiction Psychiatrist, and also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado, said:  In the absence of credible data, this debate is being dominated by bad science and misinformation from people interested in using medical marijuana as a step to legalization for recreational use. Bypassing the FDA’s well-established approval process has created a mess that especially affects children and adolescents. Young people, who are clearly being targeted with medical marijuana advertising and diversion, are most vulnerable to developing marijuana addiction and suffering from its lasting effects.
 
11. Outside the context of Federally approved research, the use and distribution of marijuana is prohibited in the United States.

23
Dec

California AB 390 – Gone Up In Smoke

AB 390, a bill to legalize marijuana in California, has gone up in smoke at the State Capitol. 

Children need to grow up in safe neighborhoods and attend schools free of marijuana users and sellers.  We need to continue to protect our youth from the dangers of drugs. That starts with stopping the proliferation of pot.

The demise of this disastrous California bill goes to show that our voice was heard at the State Capitol and legislators on both sides of the aisle agreed we don’t want a proliferation of WEED in our streets and communities…our churches…parks and schools.   

Legalizing marijuana is bad public policy and most of the legislators know it.  In my opinion, once the public wakes up and understands the dangers of legalizing marijuana, legislators voting to legalize may find themselves on the wrong side of public opinion.  A lot of voters are going to let their representatives know they will not stand for legalizing such a dangerous drug. 

Marijuana is a dangerous and destructive drug…and we must not rest until the pro-legalizers are defeated once and for all. 

To think some California lawmakers would resort to legalizing the sale and manufacture of drugs to generate tax revenue in which to balance our state budget is an outrage! 

There are many ways to get the economy moving again.  Putting a flood of mind altering drugs on the streets and then taxing their sales is not one of them. 

It doesn’t make sense for our legislators to ban cigarette usage in public places because it is harmful to health, while at the same time saying “yes” to marijuana smoke, which is also carcinogenic.  

California lawmakers recently banned trans fat because it is harmful to health.  And now they want to make marijuana legal because it’s supposedly good for consumption in certain cases?   

If we say marijuana is okay for adults…then what message do do send our children?  That it’s okay for them too? 

How do we expect our youth to say “No!” to drugs when the adults are saying “yes.” 

Why would our public policymakers legalize marijuana, tax it and then go back and use that same money AND MORE for drug prevention programs to convince kids to not smoke dope.  It’s bad public policy. It doesn’t make sense.       

Taxing marijuana is “blood money” plain and simple.  And California lawmakers would have blood on their hands if they voted to legalize this dangerous drug. 

Pot should never be legal for general use in California.  It’s bad for health, it’s bad for our communities, it’s bad for kids and it’s bad for our brains. 

California will go down a dangerous path for which there will be no turning back if voters legalize marijuana.  To think people will smoke pot while driving on our roads, visiting our parks, walking in our neighborhoods, sitting in their backyards (with the odor wafting over our fences) and passing near our schools.  It is a disaster waiting to happen of enormous consequences.  Has anyone given any thought to this? 

Rogue legislators like Tom Ammiano want to legalize marijuana because they say it will be a windfall for the economy.  Many others think it would actually be a drain on the state budget and the root cause of many job losses due to absenteeism and lost productivity. 

There is no guarantee that legalization would undercut the black market, especially if the drug is taxed.  Drug pushers would simply sell it “tax free.”

Legalizers think the revenue from a new marijuana tax will solve California’s budget woes, but AB 390 specifically states that people can grow their own weed, which many will do. How do you tax that?

Where will we get the money to pay for a new watchdog agency to regulate the drug?  And will employees of this same agency be allowed to smoke it during their work breaks since it will be legal?   

AB 390 to legalize marijuana was passed in the California Assembly Public Safety Committee (Tom Ammiano’s committee) on January 12, 2010.  Increase the use of drugs, and our public will be safer? Was there another motive?

President Obama was right to declare he wants to usher in a new era of responsibility; and that includes ensuring marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug.  There’s no excuse for legalizing another harmful drug known kill through the inducements of carcinogens and mental instability.    

Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, one can imagine California becoming a favored destination for drug buyers – and an exporter of drug dealers.

The “legalizers” will argue we are overcrowding our prisons with people arrested for simple possession of marijuana. The truth is: no one ever stays in jail for more than a day just for possessing it. Anyone that is in jail or prison for marijuana either:

  • Also had a role in distribution; or,
  • Pled down to possession in exchange for information; or,
  • Violated terms of parole/probation, and their original crime was much more serious 

Legalizers say:  “If marijuana is legalized we can tax it and bring in much needed revenue to our state.”

The truth:

  • In 2005, the State of California spent $19.9 billion dollars on substance abuse and addiction or $545.09 per capita on alcohol and tobacco.  But, the State of California collected $1.4 billion dollars of tax revenue or $38.69 per capita on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products.  The costs far exceeded the revenue, and marijuana would likely follow a similar trend.
  • The tax revenue does not account for the additional public health concerns and costs, such as cancer risks due to smoke inhalation or increased mental illness due to prolonged use.

Legalizers say:  “People with medical issues should be able to smoke marijuana to relieve pain or other debilitating symptoms.”

The truth: 

  • There is likely medical benefit from components in the cannabis plant.  This is very different than legalizing smoked marijuana.
  • Medicine should never be determined by voters.
  • The general public does not have the knowledge necessary to vote on whether a particular pill or patch is beneficial for the treatment of heart disease, attention deficit disorder, or diabetes. Why is this different?
  • The 1999 IOM report said that smoked marijuana should generally not be recommended for medical use; we don’t “smoke” medicine. 

Legalizers say:  “Marijuana toxicity has never killed anyone.”

The truth:

  • Marijuana contributes to dependence, mental illness, lung obstruction, lung cancer, memory loss, motor skill disruption and other harms in a way that tobacco does not, and its harms are underappreciated.
  • ER admissions for marijuana-related illness (psychotic episodes, etc.) exceed those of heroin.
  • There have been numerous cases of fatal car and other accidents caused by someone under the influence of marijuana.

Smoked marijuana is not medicine. Pot smoke contains more carcinogens than cigarette smoke and is simply not healthy for you. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration routinely tests new drugs according to a rigorous protocol to prove their safety before they are allowed to be sold to the public as medicine. Marijuana has passed no such test.

Legalization will increase drug use and health care costs. Marijuana is an addictive drug that poses significant health consequences to its users. Recent studies have linked marijuana use to birth defects, respiratory system damage, cancer, mental illness, violence, infertility, and immune system damage.

The latest information from the U.S. Treatment Episode Data Set reports that 16.1% of drug treatment admissions were for marijuana as the primary drug of abuse, compared to 6% in 1992. 
 
Legalization will increase crime-related costs. 75% of children in foster care are placed there because of a parent’s substance abuse. Sexual assault is frequently facilitated by substance use – some experts put the number at over 60%. The U.S. Department of Justice found that 61% of domestic violence offenders also have substance abuse problems.

All forms of marijuana are mind-altering (psychoactive). In other words, they change how the brain works. A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana, too — about 400 of them, some of which are carcinogenic. Marijuana is addictive with more teens in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.

Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit.

Numerous studies have shown marijuana smoke to contain carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50–70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increase the lungs’ exposure to carcinogenic smoke.

Driving experiments show that marijuana affects a wide range of skills needed for safe driving — thinking and reflexes are slowed, making it hard for drivers to respond to sudden, unexpected events. Also, a driver’s ability to “track” (stay in lane) through curves, to brake quickly, and to maintain speed and the proper distance between cars is affected. Research shows that these skills are impaired for at least 4-6 hours after smoking a single marijuana cigarette, long after the “high” is gone. Marijuana presents a definite danger on the road.

Emergency Room admissions for marijuana-related illness (psychotic episodes, etc.) exceed those of heroin. 

 

 

 

          

22
Dec

The issues are Complicated, but the answers are Simple

The issues around marijuana may seem complicated, but the bottom line is simple: 

  • We know from analysis at RAND that legalization would cause the price of marijuana to fall and its use woould rise, especially among youth.
     
  • With more users, we will see more addiction. Marijuana addiction is real and affects about 1 in 9 people who ever start using the drug (a number similar to alcohol). If one starts in adolescence, that number jumps to 1 in 6 users.
     
  • If you care about educational outcomes, you need to oppose legalization because marijuana use reduces learning and memory, increases drop-out rates and lower grades.
     
  • If you care about economic competitiveness and jobs, you need to oppose legalization because employers will not hire those who test positive for drug use.
     
  • If you care about safe roads, you need to oppose legalization because smoking marijuana doubles a user’s risk of having an accident.
     
  • Taxes on marijuana would never pay for the increased social costs that would result from more users. Our experience with alcohol and tobacco shows that for every dollar gained in taxes, we spent $10 in social costs.
     
  • Legalization would jeopardize our ability to get Federal funds, because of drug-free workplace requirements and the fact that marijuana is against Federal law.
     
  • Our experience with even tightly regulated prescription drugs, such as OxyCotin, shows that legalizing drugs widens availability and misuse, even when controls are in place.
     
  • Legalization would not curb violence.  Marijuana accounts for only a portion of the proceeds gained by criminal organizations that profit from drug distribution, human trafficking, and other crimes, so legalizing marijuana would not deter these groups from continuing to operate.
     
  • Legalization wouldn’t even reduce the burden of the criminal justice system. Today, alcohol ~ which is legal- is the cause of over 2.6 million arrests a year.  That is a million more arrests than for all illegal drugs combined.
     
  • In places that have experimented with quasi-legalization, marijuana use and associated problems have skyrocketed.  That is why the Netherlands, the U.K., and other countries, after experiencing a wave of increased use, are now reversing their policies.
18
Dec

Truth About Marijuana Video

Watch this informative video online to see why Marijuana is a gateway drug…

Click Here: Truth About Marijuana Video.

MARIJUANA

“I started using on a lark, a dare from a best friend who said that I was too chicken to smoke a joint and drink a quart of beer. I was fourteen at that time. After seven years of using and drinking I found myself at the end of the road with addiction. I was no longer using to feel euphoria, I was just using to feel some semblance of normality. Then I started having negative feelings about myself and my own abilities. I hated the paranoia. I hated looking over my shoulder all the time. I really hated not trusting my friends.

“I became so paranoid that I successfully drove everyone away and found myself in the terrible place no one wants to be in—I was alone. I’d wake up in the morning and start using and keep using throughout the day.” Paul

“I was given my first joint in the playground of my school. I’m a heroin addict now, and I’ve just finished my eighth treatment for drug addiction.” Christian

“The teacher in the school I went to would smoke three or four joints a day. He got lots of students to start smoking joints, me included. His dealer then pushed me to start using heroin, which I did without resisting. By that time, it was as if my conscience was already dead.” Veronique

17
Dec

Truth About Weed PSA

Watch the PSA – Truth About Weed – the gateway drug at:

Truth About Drugs PSA

15
Dec

Truth About Marijuana

Get the facts about Marijuana in this concise guide.

Truth About Marijuana Booklet (English)

Click for for PDF format to read or download marijuana-booklet-en.

 
15
Dec

CASA Report

Today a full 16 percent of the U.S. population is dependent on alcohol, nicotine or other drugs. Another 27 percent of the general population engages in use of these substances in ways that put themselves and others at risk, including underage and adult excessive drinking, tobacco use, and misuse of pain relievers, stimulants and depressants. For a staggering 43 percent of the nation, then — nearly every other American — addiction and risky substance use are a matter of public health.

Addiction is America’s number one health care and health cost problem. Approximately 30 percent of our federal and state health care spending is attributable to this disease. Across all government spending, the total financial cost is nearly $500 billion annually.

The extent of human misery is incalculable.

15
Dec

California Health Kids Survey Summary

Programs:

  • Federal  “Safe and Drug-Free School and Communities Act” (SDFSC)  contained in the “No Child Left Behind Act”
  • State “Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Program
  • California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) guidebook California Department of Education (CDE)

Research has consistently demonstrated that many of the health risks and school environment factors assessed by the CHKS are fundamental barriers to learning.

The CHKS Core Module (A) assesses a broad range of key resilience and youth development protective factors: caring relationships, high expectations, and opportunities for meaningful participation in both school and community settings; health-risk behaviors: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; violence and school safety, including harassment; and physical education and eating habits.

Youth development is the process of promoting the social, emotional, physical, moral, cognitive, and spiritual development of young people through meeting their fundamental needs for safety, love, belonging, respect, identity, power, challenge, mastery, and meaning.

Resilience refers to positive youth development in the face of environmental threat, stress, and risk. Broadly, it is not only the ability to rebound from adversity but also the ability to achieve healthy development and successful learning in any circumstance.

THE THREE PRINCIPLE PROTECTIVE FACTORS

Studies across multiple disciplines have clearly identified three principle Protective Factors that promote youth development and resilience to guide education and prevention practice. These principles are:

  • caring relationships,
  • high expectation messages, and
  • Opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution.

These supports and opportunities should be available in all environments in a young person’s world: home, school, community, and peer groups.

Caring Relationships

Caring relationships are defined as supportive connections to others in the student’s life who model and support healthy development and well-being. Studies have identified caring relationships as the most critical factor promoting healthy and successful development even in the face of much environmental stress, challenge, and risk.

These relationships convey that someone is “there” for a youth. This is demonstrated by an adult or peer having an interest in who a young person is, and in actively listening to, and talking with, the youth.

High Expectations

High expectation messages are defined as the consistent communication of direct and indirect messages that the student can succeed. They are at the core of caring relationships and communicate belief in the youth’s innate resilience and ability to learn. The message is “You can make it; you have everything it takes to achieve your dreams; I’ll be there to support you.” Research has shown this to be a pivotal factor in the environments of youth who have overcome the odds.

In addition to this “challenge + support” message, a high-expectation approach conveys firm guidance—clear boundaries and the structure necessary for creating a sense of safety and predictability.

The aim is not to enforce compliance and control but to allow for the freedom and exploration necessary to develop autonomy, identity, and self-control. A high-expectation approach is individually-based and strengths-focused. This means identifying each youth’s unique strengths and gifts, nurturing them, and using them to work on needs or concerns. Having high expectations assumes that one size never fits all.

Meaningful Participation

Meaningful participation is defined as the involvement of the student in relevant, engaging, and interesting activities with opportunities for responsibility and contribution.

Providing young people with opportunities for meaningful participation is a natural outcome of environments that convey high expectations.

Participation, like caring and support, meets a fundamental human need: to have some control and ownership over one’s life. Resilience research has documented that positive developmental outcomes—including reductions in health–risk behaviors and increases in academic factors—are associated with youth being given valued responsibilities, planning and decision-making opportunities, and chances to contribute and help others in their home, school, and community environments.

Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)

The misuse of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) continues to be among the most important issues confronting the nation. In the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) Teen Survey, adolescents have consistently reported that drug use is the number one problem they face.

Similarly, a 1997 national survey of adults identified drug use by far as the most serious problem facing children, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently declared that substance abuse remains the leading health problem in the United States.

For schools, the problem is particularly relevant, as it is estimated that each year substance abuse costs schools at least $41 billion dollars in truancy, special education, disciplinary problems, disruption, teacher turnover, and property damage.2 Moreover, AOD abuse is a major barrier to academic achievement. For example:

  • Adolescents who use drugs have been found to have reduced attention spans, lower investment in homework, lower grades and test scores, more negative attitudes toward school, increased absenteeism, and higher dropout rates.
  • Even low levels of alcohol and drug use by peers in middle schools were linked to lower individual state test scores in Washington, compared to students whose peers had little or no substance use involvement.
  • Alcohol is by far the most frequently used substance and has shown the least variation over time. Alcohol drinking is endemic in high school. Indeed, it has become statistically normative in that more students report some use than no use.
  • Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug, with lifetime experimentation verging on being statistically normative by the 11th grade.
  • Inhalants (defined in the survey as “things you sniff, huff, or breathe to get high such as glue, paint, aerosol sprays, gasoline, poppers, gases”) are next in popularity to marijuana.

Because of their ready availability, their use may even exceed marijuana in 7th grade. Inhalant use peaks in middle school; their use tends to decline with age, or at least the pattern changes, with poppers and nitrous oxide replacing the glues and paint fumes.

  • Other Drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, are much less commonly used. Yet because “hard” drug use is potentially very serious, close attention must be paid to these youth. They are likely to be seriously at risk of not only drug-related problems but also involvement in other high-risk behaviors. Any use of these drugs is dangerous and an increase in their use should prompt an expansion of prevention and intervention efforts.

Prescription Pain Killers 

In 2005, for the first time, a response option for lifetime nonmedical use of prescription painkillers such as OxyCotin, Percodan, and Vicodin was added to the survey in response to growing concern over the spread of this pattern of use.

The 2005 California Student Survey revealed that this is the category of drugs most commonly used after marijuana and inhalants in grades 7 and 9 and second to marijuana in grade 11. Lifetime use was only 4% in 7th grade, but rose to 9% in 9th and 15% in 11th grades.

The addition of this response option on the CSS resulted in a marked rise in the prevalence of the use of drugs other than marijuana compared to 2003. 

The Importance of Delaying Use Onset

Research has demonstrated that the earlier a child initiates AOD use (regardless of substance), the greater will be the later use and adverse consequences, as well as involvement in other risk activities.

Young people who initiate any drug use before the age of 15 appear to be at twice the risk of having drug problems during their lifetime, compared to those who wait until after the age of 19. Lifetime use initiators in the 7th grade or earlier should be of particular concern. Early use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs also predicts early school dropout. Students who use marijuana before the age of 15 have been found to be three times more likely than other students to have left school before age 16 and were two times likelier to report frequent truancy.6 Consistent with this, California data show much earlier initiation among students in Continuation High Schools, who also report much higher prevalence and levels of current AOD use.7

In one study, early marijuana users (mean age 14) were at greater risk in late adolescence (five years later) of not graduating from high school, delinquency, having multiple sexual partners, not always using condoms, perceiving drugs as not harmful, having substance use problems, and having more friends who exhibit deviant behavior. 

Marijuana Use 

  • Among 11th graders in the 2001 CSS, 8% reported using marijuana on 10 or more days, or an average of at least two days of use per week. Daily use was reported by 5% of 11th graders, compared to 2% for alcohol.
  • Nationally since 1995, daily marijuana use has been reported by about 5–6% and daily alcohol use by 3–4% of high school seniors. 

It was recently estimated that nationally 60% of high school students and 30% of middle school students were attending schools where illegal drugs are used, kept, and sold. Moreover, students at these schools appeared twice as likely to smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs as students whose schools were more substance free.

Risk Factors: 

The CHKS Core provides data on three risk factors that have frequently been associated with variations in AOD use: perceived harm, peer use, and availability.

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