America’s Dropout Crisis: The Unrecognized Connection to Adolescent Substance Use

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Does adolescent use of alcohol and drugs promote dropping out? Are adolescents that stop using alcohol and drugs less likely to drop out? Once dropout has occurred, does stopping alcohol and drug use encourage school reentry? Since the answer to these questions is “yes”, the policy challenge is to identify best practices to reduce adolescent alcohol and drug use in general. However it is particularly important to identify alcohol and drug use among students that are at high risk for dropping out—the students with low academic performance and high levels of truancy—and to intervene to help them become alcohol and drug-free.

DuPont, R. L., Caldeira, K. M., DuPont, H. S., Vincent, K. B., Shea, C. L., & Arria, A. M. (2013). America’s dropout crisis: The unrecognized connection to adolescent substance use. Rockville, MD: Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.

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