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Wax P, Reynolds M. 
“Just a click away: student Internet surfing for recreational drug information”. 
Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology. 2000;38(5):531.
An increasing number of recreational drug related ED visits appear to be precipitated by drug use suggestions garnered off the Internet. The study objective is to determine the frequency of Internet drug site visitation by students and its association with drug use.

METHODS: A convenience sample of undergraduate college students (school size = 3800), and a 1st year medical school class (class size = 100) were asked to fill out an anonymous written questionnaire about their own recreational drug use. Specific questions were also asked about whether they had surfed the Internet for drug information and its impact on subsequent drug use. Chi-squared statistics were used as appropriate.

RESULTS: 168 students (20% of whom had been to a rave) were surveyed (94 college and 74 1st year medical students). 19% reported that they surfed the Internet for information on recreational drug use (24% college and 14% medical students). Of those who surfed the Internet, 9% said this increased their likelihood of using recreational drug (27% college and 0% medical students), 19% said it decreased likelihood of using recreational drug (27% college and 10% medical students) and 72% stated this had no effect (45% college and 90% medical student). Those who surfed for recreation drug information were much more likely to have used MDMA 53%, "magic mushrooms" 50%, and LSD 22% than those who had not surfed the internet 7%, 11%, and 6% respectively (p < 0.05). There was no statistical difference between web surfers and non-surfers regarding their likelihood of having attended a rave. Conclusions: About 1 in 5 students surveyed have visited recreational drug web sites. Comparable numbers of college students reported that web site visitation increased or decreased their drug taking likelihood. The impact on medical students was considerably less. There appears to be an association between hallucinogenic drug use and drug site visitation but causation can not be ascertained.
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Apr 17, 2011 1:59
Abstract Only #

This version of the article was published as an abstract only. A later article of the same title was published in Pediatrics.
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