Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Alan D. Poling

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick P. Gault

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An abundant array of research in the area of drug use and abuse among various populations has been conducted in recent years. These studies have determined that although several demographic variables affect the prevalence of drug use, all segments of society who have access to drugs are at some risk. Whether relative risk is influenced by subaverage intelligence is unclear, however, for very little has been done to determine the prevalence of drug use and abuse among the mentally retarded.

In this survey methods were utilized to gather such information in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. A survey return rate of 73% was obtained from the human service agencies questioned, with information provided on 1,461 cases. The data showed that only a small percentage of mentally retarded persons in Kalamazoo have access to drugs, yet when such drugs are available, a sizeable number try those substances and experience related problems.