Going to a top school may have something to do with whether students abuse marijuana or not says a UCLA study which was published Oct. 29 in JAMA Pediatrics.

According to UCLA researchers, students from lower-income neighborhoods that have attended one of five-high performing Los Angeles County high schools were less likely to abuse marijuana than those students who didn’t attend.

Admission to these schools was based on a random lottery system to be fair. As part of the study, the researchers surveyed 1,270 students who applied to at least one of the five schools in fal 2013 or fall 2014. They also collected data from 2013 through 2017.

The surveys asked students from the 9th through 11th grade, whether they used the drug and how frequently. The ones offered admission or attended any of the five schools were less likely to abuse the plant. These students spent more time studying and had fewer people around them abusing drugs.

“We concluded that schools play an important role in influencing adolescent behavior,” said Dr. Rebecca Dudovitz, an assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and pediatrician at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. She is also the study’s first author. She added, “Investing in schools offers a tool for improving teen health.”

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