This essay discusses about the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.The organisation released a report titled “Girls and Drugs” that purported to show “alarming trends in girls’ use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs.” This brief report received a great deal of publicity in the news media, with headlines claiming “More girls than boys turning to drugs” (ABC News, Feb. 9, 2006) and “Girls using drugs, alcohol more than boys” (MSNBC, Feb. 9, 2006).
In February 2006, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a report titled “Girls and Drugs” that purported to show “alarming trends in girls’ use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs.” This brief report received a great deal of publicity in the news media, with headlines claiming “More girls than boys turning to drugs” (ABC News, Feb. 9, 2006) and “Girls using drugs, alcohol more than boys” (MSNBC, Feb. 9, 2006). This dramatic report is still available on the website of the ONDCP. However, where do things really stand over a dozen years later? Are these “alarming trends” still apparent in more recent evidence on alcohol and drug use among young women and men? .
Your assignment in Paper 1 is to present a critical, evidence-based examination of claims about gender and alcohol use in the 2006 “Girls and Drugs” report.
You can earn as many as 15 points by providing a clear, complete, well-documented, and well-written response to this assignment in 1,000 words or more (approximately two single-spaced pages), not counting references. You should focus primarily on patterns of alcohol use, although you can also refer to data on other drugs if it is relevant to your main argument.
First, read the ONDCP report on “Girls and Drugs” carefully. Click the following link to read and/or download this ten-page report (in pdf format): Girls and Drugs.pdf
The next link will take you to an interesting commentary about the ONDCP report that appeared on the Huffington Post website a few days after the report was released. This article by Maia Szalavitz makes a number of critical observations about the selective and misleading use of statistical data by ONDCP. Read it carefully, because it will give you some good ideas for your own critical analysis of ONDCP’s claims about girls and alcohol use: Maia Szalavitz, “Media Botches Drug Trends”
1975-2019 MTF Trends: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/occpapers/mtf-occ94.pdf
Are girls really using alcohol more than boys? What does the evidence from recent surveys actually show about “alarming trends” in alcohol use among girls? Be sure to base your answers to these or other questions raised by the 2006 “Girls and Drugs” report on solid evidence from one or both of these national surveys rather than on speculation.
I will deduct two points a day for late papers. Don’t forget to keep a copy of your paper. The paper will receive the full 15 points credit if it is:
(a) clearly focused on the assigned topic; (b) well-organized and systematically argued;
(c) adequately supported by empirical data from MTF and NSDUH; (d) free of grammatical errors, typos, and other stylistic problems.
I will deduct points to the extent that the paper:
(a) fails to address key elements of the assignment (deduct 1-4 points); (b) wanders off topic or lacks coherence (deduct 1-4 points); (c) misinterprets or fails to use empirical evidence (deduct 1-4 points);