A sensation of rapid change in the prevalence and incidence of illicit-exotic drug use among students continued during the course of our work. It is very likely to continue after publication. As our survey progressed during 1967-1968, we received rumors and reports to the effect that during the year major shifts were occurring. We had one small test available, reported in Chapter Sixteen, which verified for two fraternity-house samples that this period was indeed a year of change, at least for School I, for in the fraternity houses use increased by a factor of 21/2. These findings, the other reports, and continuing student interest prompted a series of student-conducted studies in School I in the winter and spring of 1968. Those studies, the emphasis of which is on prevalence of illicit-drug use, constitute the subject matter of this chapter.
Students in the Graduate School of Business in School I conducted a self-survey using a mail-return questionnaire that was sent to all business-school students. Sixty-five per cent, N = 374, were returned. No data are available on the characteristics of the 35 per cent not responding. Among these presumably "conservative" (business-oriented) graduate students, 31 per cent report having tried marijuana and 7 per cent LSD. Twenty per cent of the sample claim continuing marijuana use once a month or more; half say they "turned on" during the preceding or current school year. Such a rapid increase in illicit-drug initiation during 1967-1968 conforms to data in our two-fraternity study, reported in Chapter Sixteen. Apparently only a few of the students have sold marijuana for profit. When compared with non-users, the marijuana users estimate that more students are users than do the non-users; this is a statistically significant difference (P < .01). Marijuana users are younger, are less often married, and more often come from nontechnical undergraduate majors; each of these differences is statistically significant (P < .05). Ninety-seven per cent of all users have friends who are users, compared with 67 per cent of the non-users; users are 10 to 1 in favor of their friends' trying marijuana, but non-users are 3 to 1 against. Users are proselytizers and initiators, claiming among them sixty-one converts; however, only sixteen of the sample claim to have been introduced to use by friends in the school. Marijuana users are politically more liberal and are opposed to the Vietnam War, both differences significant beyond P = .01. Marijuana users report more use of alcohol.
Students residing in a dormitory complex conducted an anonymous questionnaire self-survey in the spring of 1968. Although sample bias was likely, its direction is unknown; only 50 per cent, N = 285, returned the questionnaire. Among those responding (49 per cent of the men and 57 per cent of the women), 41 per cent of the men and 65 per cent of the women report experience with marijuana; 6 per cent have taken LSD. Twenty-five per cent of the men and 5 per cent of the women describe themselves as currently using marijuana on a regular basis, none very frequently. Most men who have not smoked marijuana have had the opportunity to do so; half of the nonsmoking men also have access to supplies. Ten per cent of the using men and .3 per cent of the using women consider marijuana to have detrimental effects. Four per cent of the women and 20 per cent of the men say they have also sold marijuana.
One student in School I developed and distributed an anonymous questionnaire for use in his own fraternity house in the spring of 1968. Sixty-two of sixty-seven members, 92 per cent, returned the form, which inquired solely about marijuana use. Seventy-six per cent report experience with marijuana and 61 per cent express the intention of continuing its use. Most of the experienced fraternity brothers are upperclassmen; most of the inexperienced students are underclassmen. Indeed, as the student author of the questionnaire writes, "Only one senior exists in this never using group; if the trend persists, everyone in my fraternity eventually tries marijuana before graduation." Most say they began use in their sophomore year, which is the first year in which they reside in the fraternity house—a finding compatible with the role of peers and leaders as set forth in Chapter Sixteen. However, for the year 1968, 30 per cent of the freshman pledges report marijuana experience, double the early experience rate for any earlier class. The student investigator writes,
The use of marijuana is becoming more accepted on this campus, a fact which would lead the younger students to try it sooner. Only two people ever tried it in high school, so it seemingly remains a college experience; I would guess more so for my fraternity brothers who come from more conservative upper-middle-class backgrounds than most students.
In this fraternity house, marijuana use is associated by self-ratings with being politically liberal, and use is least found among natural- and hard-science majors. Examining future plans, those who have never used it, mostly freshmen, are undecided about their majors
but definite about going to graduate school (a paradox the investigator remarks upon with gentle humor). Among those who have tried marijuana but are definite in saying that they would not use it again are found the highest proportion intending to go on to graduate school. Nearly all students say a supply is readily available; among users about half smoke only one cigarette (a "joint") a week, and the other half from one to five a week. An interesting report indicates that some students began use while in Europe at overseas campuses where "freedom along with hashish is the big thing many of my frat brothers tell me that's where they originally tried it." One third of the continuing users say they have told their parents about their marijuana use.
For the continuing users, "blowing up" with others is preferred whereas those who used marijuana but stopped it more often preferred solitary smoking. The student investigator links that preference to fear of detection and suggests solitary smoking may be predictive of those who will not continue. More than half of those who have smoked marijuana claim to have influenced others to use it as well, proselytizing being much more common in the continuing user than in the group of discontinued users. As for preferred mode of administration, smoking rates highest; the low interest in eating marijuana is attributed to unpredictability of drug action and to difficulty in preparation. Asked their reasons for use, students list curiosity, enjoyment, and relaxation as predominant, although the student investigator, who knows his fraternity brothers well, comments about stated motives thus: "The results give only superficial reasons . . . the truth about use and non-use is really very individual . . . a really close understanding of each respondent would be necessary to get the real reasons."
In the spring of 1968, a random sample of a hundred undergraduates drawn from School I was interviewed by students taking a psychology seminar. There were no refusals or losses. Students were trained briefly in interviewing techniques and were counseled intensively in the requirement that respondents' anonymity be protected. Neither time nor funds allowed a sample of more than a hundred, the small size of which requires awareness of a probable error of estimate, which is maximally ± 12.88 when there is a 50/50 split (for example, when 50 per cent say they have used marijuana and 50 per cent say they have not, the actual distribution in the total population lies between 37 per cent and 63 per cent maximally) and ± 2..56 when there is a 99/1 split (for example, when 1 per cent say they have used heroin, the distribution in the total population is between zero plus N = 1 and 3.56). The instrument employed was a much shortened form of the interview schedule used in the five-college study.
Our emphasis in reporting is on experience prevalence, present use, and future plans with reference to the illicit drugs. As in our earlier studies, proportionately much greater illicit-exotic experience is indicated among students majoring in the arts and humanities and in the social sciences; unlike the 1966-1967 data, the year in school is no longer a discriminating factor; underclassmen as often as upperclassmen report drug use; similarly, females as often as males report use of one or more illicit-exotic drugs.
Amphetamines. Thirty-five per cent (± 12.29) of all students report amphetamine use, most of them students who have used other illicit-exotic compounds. Most use is intermittent. Two per cent (-± 3.61) have used methamphetamine intravenously; of these two, one is a regular user and one an occasional user. Half of the amphetamine-experienced group intend to continue use; only 3 per cent of the non-users anticipate taking up amphetamine use. The source of most amphetamines is friends rather than a legitimate medical or parental authority; most use is said to be in connection with combating fatigue and as a study aid, but the two regular "mainlining" users indicate their intent is to get high. Two thirds of the users report some ill-effects, whereas only one fourth claim benefits. Neither of the two regular users is concerned over his own amphetamine use.
Cannabis. Fifty-seven per cent of the sample (± 12.75, for example, between 44 per cent and 70 per cent of the total population) report experience with marijuana or hashish. Sixteen per cent indicate regular or considerable use, 14 per cent at the present time. For 9 per cent (± 7.37) that regular or considerable use has extended for over a year. Nearly all students (53 per cent) with cannabis experience say they intend to continue using the drug; most non-users do not intend to begin, although 12 per cent of the latter group (± 8.37) say that they too intend to try cannabis. Eight per cent (11: 6.99) indicate that they began use in high school, and by the end of the sophomore year in college, two thirds of the experienced students have begun cannabis use. Most users report benefits from use, although one quarter of the users, primarily those with only one or two exposures, claim no gains from the drug. Ill-effects are reported by two thirds of those taking cannabis, most of these reporting multiple bad results. Eight students (14 per cent of the user group) say they are worried about their own (over) use of cannabis; ten students say their friends and parents are worried about their use of it.
Hallucinogens. Seventeen per cent of the sample (± 9.68 or between 7 per cent and 27 per cent) report hallucinogenic drug experience. All have also used cannabis. LSD is the most common drug, although the heavier users have also tried STP, DMT, DET, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin. Regular or considerable use is rare, with only 3 per cent of the total sample (12 per cent of the users) saying they take these drugs on any regular basis; only two students (at the time of the survey) say they are regular users. Most (88 per cent) of those who have taken hallucinogens say they intend to take them again, whereas only one student in the non-using group (1 per cent of the total sample) is interested in beginning hallucinogen use. Two students began their use in high school and most of the others (12/17) during freshman or sophomore college years. No use after the age of twenty-one is reported. Most students using hallucinogens claim benefits and most likewise report bad results, the latter being multiple. Two students are worried about their own LSD use (at the time of the survey).
Opiates. Ten per cent of the sample (±- 7.73 or between 2 per cent and 18 per cent of the total undergraduate population) report the use of opiates, all ten having used opium. Two of these students, the same two who have used amphetamines intravenously, have also taken heroin prior to their arrival on campus. All ten have also used cannabis. Three students, or 30 per cent of the user sample, indicate they have used opiates considerably over a period of time; one reports being a regular opium user (at the time of the survey). Half of this group intends to continue use, whereas none of the students in the non-using group expresses an interest in beginning opiate experimentation. Most opiate users claim benefits, only half reporting ill effects. Two students are concerned about their own opiate habits. One is concerned about his amphetamine use as well, the other about his marijuana use, while both express their family's worry over their drug involvement in general. For most students, opiate experience first began during the freshman or sophomore years.
Supplemental items. Repetition of a few of the inquiries made in the major survey reveals that students in this new sample who have experience with illicit-exotic drugs more often are dissatisfied With their course work, their teachers, and the school as a whole. There are more incomplete grades taken by the drug-using group and past or future plans for dropping-out also occur more often.
Hippie dress. On a newly incorporated rating item, the interviewers were asked to rate the appearance of respondents in terms of dress, haircut, and ornamentation as being either "straight" (conventional college attire) or "hip" (beards, beads, sandals, long hair, and so on). Among the students with no illicit-drug experience, only one (1/43 or 2 per cent) rates as a hip type, whereas among those with illicit-drug experience, seventeen (17/57 or 30 per cent) rate as hip types. This difference, which is statistically significant, P < .05, shows that drug use and hippie costume are linked on campus; however, what must not be overlooked is that most of the students with drug experience are not clad as hippies. Our presumption is that these students are less intensive users and that those who embrace the drug ideology, which includes intensive drug experience, will embrace the uniform of the ideologue as well.
SUMMARY AND COMMENT
Including the data in Chapter Sixteen we have information on six groups for School I, all collected after the initial survey of 1966— 1967. One small random sample of undergraduates, one sample of graduate business students, three fraternity-house samples, and one of men and women in a coeducational dormitory complex all yielded results showing a considerable increase in prevalence of marijuana-hashish experience during 1967 and 1968. In the 1966-1967 survey, 21 per cent in School I had tried marijuana and only about 4 per cent had been regular users (although drug diaries yielded a higher rate of regular use, 17 per cent). By late spring 1968, between 44 per cent and 70 per cent had tried it, with actual experience varying by group classified upon type of residence unit and type of major. The best estimate for all undergraduate experience is 57 per cent, which is an increase by a factor of nearly three in eighteen months. Regular use also seems to have increased, so that among all undergraduates, between 5 per cent and 23 per cent say they are currently employing cannabis with a best estimate at 14 per cent, higher in certain residence and major-subject groups. With this rapid increase, the number saying they still intend to begin cannabis use has diminished from the 32 per cent considering it in 1966-1967 to only 12 per cent ( 8.37) in late spring of 1968. It is worthy of emphasis that when one takes the 21 per cent experienced in the original survey and adds to it the 32 per cent who then expressed an interest in beginning marijuana use, one emerges with a figure of 53 per cent, which is quite close indeed to our actual estimate of 1968 use. On the presumption that we may believe the 12 per cent who say they intend to begin, the estimate for cannabis experience for late spring 1969 at School I will be somewhere around 70 per cent.
Hallucinogen experience seems to have changed less. Figures for the business students and dormitory residence show no shift from the earlier-survey prevalence of 6 per cent. The random sample yields a rate of prevalence of experience almost three times greater, 17 per cent vs. the original 6 per cent, but since error of prediction here is ±- 9.68, the 17 per cent may well be too high. One thing is sure, hallucinogen use is not diminishing on campuses, judging by its rate of increase. As for opiates, the random sample yields an estimate of per cent, a rise of more than a factor of ten in eighteen months. Again, we are faced with a high maximal error of estimate ( ± 7.73) ; nevertheless, even accepting maximal error in overestimating, it is likely that some opiate-use increase has occurred. That the drug is opium rather than heroin is compatible with the sophistication of students who are informed about the greater addictive potential of heroin. They appear to discount opium's potential for producing dependency, a view most experts would hold as painfully overoptimistic, although not without some support in the literature (see Chapter Three in Drugs I).
With regard to the amphetamines, we find evidence for a slight increase over the 25 per cent experience reported in the original survey. The 35 per cent in the new random sampling is subject to an error of estimate of about 12 per cent, so we cannot be sure that any actual change took place. On the assumption that it did, the style of use for students in School I remains occasional and primarily as a study aid. Yet the appearance of even 2 per cent now shooting methamphetamine intravenously is cause for concern. Like the opium figure, it is unreliable due to estimate error; this should not lead us to overlook the fact of some intravenous use of methamphetamine or of narcotics experimentation, especially since most students in both groups using amphetamines and narcotics express the intention to continue. Since such use is also demonstrably linked to the use of a variety of other drugs and to commitment to a drug ideology, since many of the more intensive users are already concerned about dependency, and since reports of multiple ill effects are already made by some of these users, it would be foolhardy to ignore the likelihood that some students not previously exposed to health hazards via drug use are now—with the inauguration of opiate and intravenous methamphetamine—severely exposed to hazard. Aside from health hazards, there are the continuing threats to social adjustment as evidenced in the students' reports of sensitivity to criticism from friends and relatives (exactly as found in the normal population study in companion book) and, of course, of increasing threat of arrest as they rely on illicit channels for their drugs.
We cannot consider, because that study has yet to be done, the implications for student attitudes and values—let alone the jeopardy to their persons—associated with reliance on illicit suppliers for their drugs. As methamphetamine and especially opium become drugs of choice, the informal, illicit channels employed for marijuana distribution (Mandel, 1967) may be supplemented by more organized criminal ones. One can consider the implications of the data from the dormitory and business-school studies which show that some students —for example, up to one fifth of the pot-using men—now admit to selling drugs as well. In a society which provides heavy penalties for drug peddling—death in some states, for example—such behavior is risky indeed. Yet it is not to be divorced from drug use, for as we have described in Utopiates (Blum and Associates, 1964), missionary zeal is characteristic of illicit users, especially intensive users. All of our findings confirm the activity of users in influencing non-users to join the society of the illicit elect.
As for the correlates of drug use, we see continued support for earlier findings, even though a majority of students in School I are now in the experienced group. Liberal to radical political views, school drop-out history or intentions, course-work incompletes, and general dissatisfaction with school interpretable as low morale are all confirmed as correlates. What has changed markedly is the association between class standing and age, for now we find most students have been "turned on" in freshman and sophomore years and an increasing 'number have come to college with high school drug experience as well. This phenomenon was predicted on the basis of the high school studies reported later in Chapter Nineteen, on the basis of Blumer's (1967) youth sample, and on the basis of the trends over time in the direction both of a younger age of initiation and of a spreading social base (outward from university, artistic, and professional samples). At the upper end we see confirmation of the earlier reported decrease in use with older age and, especially, with graduate standing, marriage, and other conventional career commitments. However, as the business-school study suggests, the absolute and proportional numbers of graduates and older students either "turning on" or carrying undergraduate drug-use habits with them are increasing, so that we must expect that the "immunity" to continued illicit-drug use previously imposed by graduate plans and graduate status will diminish. We anticipate that the diminishing rate will be much slower in contrast to the rapid rate of onset of use occurring in high school and junior high levels. Thus, one can predict that most persons now over twenty-four will not become illicit-exotic drug users if they are not already; however, over the coming years as present youngsters grow older and carry illicit-drug use with them, especially cannabis use, then more university-trained people will grow old with cannabis for company.