Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.C.J. in Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Michael Fichter

Second Advisor

Carol Veneziano

Third Advisor

Thomas B. Harte

Relational Format



Prior research has found extensive levels of drug use among the adolescent population from standard metropolitan statistical areas. The reviestudies show high drug use rates in the urban minority population, particularly in regards to cocaine use. Also, arrestee data examining law violations compared to drug usage and the age of initial usage correlates to the onset of delinquent behavior in the juvenile population. There are relatively few studies that have examined rural populations in regards to drug usage rates in comparison to urban populations. This study compares, through descriptive statistical analysis, arrestee data from the rural adolescent population of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, to similar data compiled by the Drug Use Forecasting Program from St. Louis, Missouri, a standard metropolitan statistical area. Findings show that differences exist in drug use rates for particular illegal substances between the two areas and that similarities exist in the types of illicit substances used when compared in relation to law violations and race variables. Some of the problems and implications of determining an adolescent population's drug usage rate are discussed.


Randall Rhodes joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi in 2015. His Ph.D. dissertation is available here.


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