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Study Links Getting High Early In Life To Low Education

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Drug abuse can cause various ill-effects, particularly among teenagers. A new study has found that those who began drinking or using drugs early in life were less likely to finish college.

The study, by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, examined 6,242 male twins who served in the military during the Vietnam era and evaluated their substance use and educational achievement.

Though past studies about association between substance use and education have produced mixed results, the new study has found that when men began to drink or use drugs early in their teen years or if they became a drug addict or alcoholic, they were less likely to complete 16 years of education.

Commenting on the study results, Julia Grant, lead author says, "Drugs and alcohol affect many lifetime milestones such as marriage, parenthood and employment, which are closely linked to education. These events in later life all are influenced by early substance use, and this study provides further evidence that as a society, we need to continue our public-health efforts to reduce underage drinking, smoking and use of drugs."

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