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DRUG USE & ACADEMIC PERFORMANCEINTRODUCTIONThe abuse of illicit drugs in the United States affects the entire nation in a way that very few other issues do. The short-term and long-term effects of drug use on the human body have been researched and studied over many years. Most research on the subject has come to the consensus that the few benefits of abusing drugs are steeply outweighed by the detrimental psychological and physiological effects experienced by the user (Ross et al. 2017); and in accordance with research, public policy has restricted the sale and use of certain substances found to be addictive or harmful. Illicit drugs can include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and alcoholor tobacco for those that are under the legal age of consumption. The detrimental effects of substance use can include addiction, mental illness, increased risk of physical ailments, and eventually death. Most current research on the use of illicit drugs focuses on the negative effects to the mental and physical health of the user. However, studies that examine the effects of substance abuse on the academic success of high school and college aged adults are rare or outdated. This leaves the question: What effect does drug use have on a student’s academic performance? Literature indicates that two-thirds of young adults (aged 18 to 25) have consumed marijuana. The proportion of high school seniors who have consumed marijuana is almost the same (Bachman, Johnston, and O’Malley 1990). At the same time, literature indicates that