tampabay.com

Study: Drugs, alcohol still tempting kids

By THOMAS C. TOBIN
Published June 27, 2007


A report on "substance use" among students in Pinellas public schools contains good and bad news.

On the brighter side, kids are using and abusing alcohol and other drugs in smaller percentages than they were in 2002 and 2004. The not-so-good news: Large numbers of students continue to partake.

The report, released last week by the Juvenile Welfare Board, is based on questionnaires completed in November by 23, 657 students in grades 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12. The estimated numbers are thought to be low because students in grades 7, 9 and 11 were not surveyed. According to the report: "The true scope of the problem is larger than the estimates presented here."

Good

16 Percentage drop in 10th-graders who ever drank alcohol (from 64 percent in 2002 to 48 percent in 2006).

11 Percentage drop in high school seniors who recently drank alcohol without their parents' permission (from 50 percent in 2002 to 39 percent in 2006).

16 Percentage drop in eighth-graders who ever used tobacco (from 33 percent in 2002 to 17 percent in 2006).

15 Percentage drop in 10th-graders who ever used marijuana (from 42 percent in 2002 to 27 percent in 2006).

9 Percentage drop in high school seniors who ever used LSD or other psychedelic drugs (from 13 percent in 2002 to 4 percent in 2006).

5 Percentage drop in seniors who ever used cocaine (from 11 percent in 2004 to 6 percent in 2006).

Not so good

6, 100 Estimated number of kids who had consumed alcohol without their parents' permission in the month before the survey. About 4, 400 were involved in binge drinking two weeks or less before the survey.

4, 500 Estimated number of kids who drank alcohol at home without their parents' permission.

4, 300 Estimated number of kids who rode in cars driven by someone impaired by alcohol.

1, 100 Estimated number of kids who used inhalants. More than 400 were in fifth and sixth grades.

14, 700 Estimated number of kids who were hit, kicked, pushed or shoved on school property.

2, 200 Estimated number who said they did not go to school because they felt unsafe.

ON THE WEB: To view the report, go to jwbpinellas.org and click on "data."