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ABC News "Nightline" Drugs and Alcohol Poll, August 1988 (ICPSR 9180)

Principal Investigator(s): ABC News


Focusing on drug and alcohol abuse, this survey solicited respondents" opinions on the most important problem facing the country, government prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s, the use of drugs or alcohol for enjoyment, the relative severity of drug and alcohol abuse in the respondent"s community, federal spending on drug abuse, and the relative effectiveness in controlling the use of drugs of strategies such as stopping illegal importation, arresting drug sellers, arresting drug users, and educating the public. In addition, respondents were asked if various substances (e.g., marijuana, LSD, alcohol, and cigarettes) were dangerous to their health, which caused the most trouble in society, and if substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and heroin should be legal or illegal for an adult to buy. They also were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the following statements: (1) Drug abuse wouldn"t stop because people continue to want drugs, (2) People should be allowed to take drugs as long as they don"t hurt someone else, (3) Current fears about an illegal drug crisis were inflated, and (4) Illegal drug use had become a central part of American society. Other topics covered include the possible outcomes of legalization of various drugs. The results of the poll were announced on the ABC television program "Nightline." Background information on respondents includes education, age, race, sex, and state/region of residence.

Series: ABC News/Washington Post Poll Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


ABC News. ABC News "Nightline" Drugs and Alcohol Poll, August 1988. ICPSR09180-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-11-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09180.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09180.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alcohol abuse, alcohol consumption, controlled drugs, decriminalization, drug abuse, drug education, drug law offenses, drug laws, drug legalization, drug regulation, drug traffic, drug use, government programs, government regulation, Prohibition Era, substance abuse

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1988-08-30--1988-09-01

Date of Collection:   

  • 1988-08-30--1988-09-01

Universe:    Adults aged 18 and over living in households with telephones in the 48 contiguous United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data contain blanks and alphabetic characters. A weight variable is included that must be used in any analysis.


Sample:    Random digit dialing.

Data Source:

telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1990-05-01

Version History:

  • 2006-11-30 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection.



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