9th Grade Drug Use Shown Above Average

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Mamabudz, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Mamabudz Mamabudz

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    Ninth-grade drug use shown above average
    However, use among high-school juniors and seniors was below national and state averages.
    The Press-Journal | February 18, 2004
    By Colleen Wixon staff writer

    INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The class of students that tested high for drug use in fifth and seventh grades is continuing to test high as ninth-graders.

    A survey of students from fourth- through 12th-graders conducted last spring showed students at all levels were using drugs and drinking.

    About 7 percent of the 414 fourth-graders surveyed reporting using beer within the past year. One out of every five seniors said they smoked marijuana on a regular basis, Bob Peterson, international director of PRIDE Youth Programs, told a workshop attended by about 20 district counselors, educators and health officials.

    While below national averages, "that's still quite shocking," he said.

    While usage among high-school juniors and seniors was below national and state averages, usage amongst Indian River County's ninth-graders was above these averages, "It seems that's where your problem is," Peterson said.

    The PRIDE survey is done every two years with students in elementary, middle- and high-schools. This year's survey was conducted last spring by the Substance Abuse Council. Surveys were distributed to 834 fourth- and fifth-grade students and 780 sixth- through 12-grade students. Fourteen of the 19 public schools in the county were surveyed.

    Peterson said county officials should be most concerned about the ninth-graders.

    Of the 145 ninth-graders surveyed, 22 percent said they regularly use marijuana, 35 percent said they regularly drink alcohol and 24 percent smoke.

    This type of survey can be used to spot trouble areas, Peterson said.

    "You can find out what's going on and start asking questions," he said.

    The community needs to get involved in helping reduce drug usage among children, he said. The survey is not supposed to point fingers at any one group, he said.

    "It's the whole community's drug problem. It isn't the school's fault," he said.

    The ninth-grade class has been monitored for some time, said Colette Heid, executive director of the Substance Abuse Council of Indian River County. In 1999, surveys showed a jump in usage among fifth-grade students. The jump occurred two years later amongst the then-seventh graders. The survey now is showing this class is continuing the trend, she said.

    The council needs to find out whether an influx of people moving into the area has any effect on the survey results, she said. It could be that students moving into the area have not received the same anti-drug programs as their peers, she said.

    "This is the population we need to watch and pull some strategies together to get to them," she said.

    Melinda Gielow, director of health and student services for the district, said the survey results didn't surprise her.

    She said she was glad to see a decline in use amongst the upper high-school students, but also wanted to look more closely at the usage of the ninth-grade students.

    Drug survey
    Of the 134 sixth-graders surveyed, 17.7 percent reported using beer, 5.4 percent reported using marijuana.

    • Of the 126 seventh-graders, 44.7 used beer, 12.2 percent marijuana.

    • Of 100 eighth-graders, 39 percent used beer, 12.1 percent marijuana.

    • Of 148 ninth-graders, 56.5 percent used beer, 36.6 percent marijuana.

    • Of 111 10th-graders, 56 percent used beer, 22 percent marijuana.

    • Of 102 11th-graders, 47.9 percent used beer, 29.2 percent marijuana.

    • Of 59 12th-graders, 55.9 percent used beer, 32.2 percent marijuana.

    - colleen.wixon@scripps.com
  2. Higher Logic Higher Logic

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    • Since: Feb 17, 2003
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    Wow, nothing those "stats" one would conclude that we should have an all out War on Beer (heh, that would be nice to see on CNN's little corner box being portrayed 24/7/365 for the public to see...reminds me of the recent Daily Show where they were making fun of that stuff). God our government needs some serious help, I feel like even a monkey could make better decisions if all it had to do was bush a Yes or No button...
  3. WNB WNB

    • Seasoned Activist
    • Since: Feb 9, 2003
    • Posts: 6,318
    Red: My state (Iowa) is considering making underage drinking an aggravated misdemeanor, one step down from felony, and punishable by two years in prison (not jail) and a $5000 fine. That puts it in the same class of offense as assault, and in a worse class than mj possession and drunk driving. The penalty is 4x worse than the penalty for mj possession. So yes, we're starting the War on Beer, too.

    As for the article...lightweights :laugh: My high school class, class of '03, reported as seniors;

    -56% of males used marijuana on a regular basis.
    -45% of females did.
    -Tons of underage drinking.

    Of course, the school I went to was in the top 100 public schools in the nation, routinely had the highest test scores in the state, and had one of the highest AP credit per student ratios in the nation. Which just goes to show that teenage drug use is not a problem unless reefer mad parents and administrators make it a problem.
  4. Suetaz Suetaz

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    • Since: Jan 28, 2004
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    OMG! That boggles my mind. Do they really think they can stop underage drinking by ruining their lives with arresting them? All the more reason to win this fight on the War on Drugs. :splat:

    Looks like 9th graders in Indian River County can look forward to more proaganda shoved down their throats... :rolleyes:
  5. MinnesotaMan MinnesotaMan

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    • Since: Jan 24, 2004
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    Very Interesting. However the problem with these surveys is the honesty of the stdents. I know when my class took those a while back in 10th grade, a lot of my friends were telling me how they said that they were drug addicted boozehounds. Or they were telling me that they put no to everything so that they seemed innocent. I wonder how many kids answer truthfully? I did. But some of the surveys are an absolute joke. One of them would have perenthesis after every topic, like: In the past 6 months, have you abused marijuana(grass, weed, mary-jane, pot, reefer)? Have you had sexual intercourse(sex, going all the way, making love)? They are ridiculous, it's hard to take seriously.
  6. Mamabudz Mamabudz

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    BTW...Indian River is where all the Florida Citrus comes from ... just FYI

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