School failure, school abandonment and use of substances. The teachers’ perspective

Despoina Chatzipapa1,*, & Dr. Panagiotis Koutrouvidis2

1.Social Worker, MSc in Law, – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

2.Pedagogical Sciences, Professor of Adult, – Hellenic Open University

*Contact details: Email tel 0030 6980 988 246



This project constitutes a qualitative research assessing school failure and abandonment caused by the use of illegal psychotropic drugs. The aim of this paper is to reveal a possible connection between these two phenomena (school failure and abandonment – drug use), while its sub-purpose is to approximately delineate the profile (family – individual) of such students, as well as comment on the teachers’ approach on the matter. In the theoretical part of this paper, phenomena such as drug use in teenage years, school failure and abandonment are examined. The investigation was carried out in the context of the elaboration of a dissertation on this subject, which was prepared for the Postgraduate Program in Criminal Law and Drug Addiction.

In the research process, twelve high school teachers, who work in public schools of West Thessaloniki, took part. They were asked, in the form of semi-structured interviews, to provide answers to crucial questions regarding student’s drug use, their families and their socioeconomic profile, the school’s role as a whole, as well as the relation between school failure – abandonment and drug use. The analysis of data and the drawing of conclusions were conducted in accordance with the “content analysis” method.

According to the feedback, teachers believe that there is a direct link between drug use and school failure and abandonment, as a process of cause and effect. At the same time, most of the students who are users come from dysfunctional families of low socioeconomic strata, while they present a common social and learning profile with distinct signs of aggressiveness, isolation and school failure and abandonment. Finally, the teachers emphasize their own ignorance on the phenomenon of addictions as well as the imperative need for familiarization and training on the matter.

Key words: drug use, school failure, school abandonment, family, teachers.

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