Sending your kids to private school might get them into better universities, but it could also lead them to problems with drugs and alcohol. Researchers found that teens who were deemed privileged, or those who lived in nice areas and attended elite schools, were more likely to use marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. These students also were more likely to abuse alcohol, too, reports The Independent.

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According to the paper, females who went to these top-tier schools were three times more likely to have drug and alcohol problems than those who didn’t. Even students who performed well in school and were favored by teachers were affected. Boys, on the other hand, were twice as likely as their more modest peers to have alcohol and drug problems as adults.

The study was conducted by Arizona State University, who studied teens living in wealthy areas of the New England region in the United States. Scientists began watching them as seniors in high school, then every single year throughout college and until they hit 27 years old.

“Results showed that among both men and women and across annual assessments, these young adults had substantial elevations, relative to national norms, in frequency of several indicators - drinking to intoxication and of using marijuana, stimulants such as Adderall, cocaine, and club drugs such as ecstasy,” study co-author Professor Suniya Luthar says in the paper.

Roughly 19 to 24 percent of females had unhealthy addictions by 26 years old, while 23 to 40 percent of guys did. However, by 22 years old, about 11 to 16 percent of women had addictions; 19 to 27 percent of males had problems too.

Luther tells the paper these students had more pressure to succeed, which could lead them to coping with drugs and alcohol. She also explains they had more money to purchase these items and resources like fake IDs.

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A survey on stress in America from 2014 revealed that teens were more stressed than adults, which was seriously influencing their sleep, exercise and diets. CBS News reports that the biggest stressor for teens was school, and all of that worry actually caused a dip in grades. More than 30 percent were worn out due to stress and about a fourth of students skipped eating. The fact that children were more stressed out than their parents was surprising, but shows that the burden of pressure can have negative impacts.

“We now need the same dedicated research on kids who grow up in pressure-cooker, high achieving schools,” Luthar says. “Paradoxical though it may seem, these ostensibly privileged youth, many of who start experimenting early and often with drinking and drugs, could well be among the groups at highest risk for alcoholism and addiction in adulthood.”

See Also:

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