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Drug & Alcohol Roundup

August 8, 2008

Researchers find that harsh drug laws don’t lead to a decrease in drug use.


Americans lead the world in drug use. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A study of drug use in 17 countries has found that Americans are more likely to use cocaine and marijuana than citizens of any other country in the survey. The study included Holland, where marijuana use is tolerated by the government. Yet far fewer people there try it: 42% of Americans report having tried marijuana, compared to less than 20% of the Dutch. And eight times more Americans have tried cocaine. The authors concluded that the drug policies of a country seem to have little effect on actual drug use.

In other news, French researchers have found that loud music leads to heavier drinking. Bars allowed the researchers to vary the volume of music and observe any changes in their customers. And the louder the music, the more drinks were consumed in the same amount of time. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.