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Predicting intention to use cocaine in teenagers in Sydney, Australia.


Recently in Australia, the question has been raised of whether cocaine poses a threat to our community. We investigated this question in a random community sample of 1002 teenagers aged 14 to 19 years in Sydney, Australia. Subjects were asked whether they or members of their social network used drugs, and questioned on their beliefs about and attitudes to drugs. Intention to use cocaine was measured by the statement, "If a friend I trusted offered me cocaine, I might try it." The predictors of intention were: personal use of illicit drugs, tranquilizers, or inhalants; exposure to cocaine users; pro-drug beliefs; self-perceived consumption of too much alcohol; age; and parental use of drugs. The results suggest that a demand for cocaine--indicated by intention to use cocaine--already exists in the community. The association between intention to use cocaine, drug beliefs, personal use of drugs and exposure to drug users in the social network should be kept in mind when proposing strategies for preventing a cocaine problem in Australia.

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