National survey outlines drug use in schools

John Stegeman Sports Editor

August 25, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

A national survey was issued this week highlighting findings that drugs are becoming accessible to teens and high schools more now than even before.

The annual survey, titled “National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens,” was produced by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The results of the survey were garnered asking questions to 1,003 teens, including 510 girls and 493 boys ages 12-17 years old. Participants of the survey were asked about their school, families, their use of social networking, substance use, access to tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs.

Results of the survey showed that nearly nine out of 10 high school students, 86 percent of those surveyed, say that some classmates drink, use drugs and smoke during the school day. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed stated, there is a place on school grounds or near the school where students go to drink, use drugs or smoke during the school day. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed say it is very easy or fairly easy for students to drink, use drugs or smoke during the school day without getting caught. Forty-four percent of those surveyed state they know a student who sells drugs at their school.

“For more than a decade and a half this survey has sought to identify characteristics, situations and circumstances that increase of decrease the likelihood of teen substance abuse. Armed with this knowledge, parents, teachers, clergy, coaches and other responsible adults are better able to held our nation’s teens grow up healthy and drug free,” said Joseph Califano, Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Scott Dutey Portsmouth City Schools Superintendent said the school is taking measures to help their students in this area.

“We felt very strongly about the levy that the counseling center attempted to pass last year. If that levy would have passed it would have put an education program in all of the county schools,” Dutey said. “We felt so strongly about that that we wanted to implement a similar program, even though it failed.”

He said the district has stared a program with The Counseling Center with its third grade, called ‘Like Skills Training. Promoting health and personal development.’

“We are going to start with our third graders. This will be a 10 to 12 week program for six years,” Dutey said. “We want to follow these kids from the third grade for six years and work with them on decision making skills, social skills, stress, smoking and drug issues among other things. We are going to put a lot of resources into working with these students.”

He said the impact of the program from the impact it has upon the students.

“I can’t help but think if we put these kind of resources and utilize the services of The Counseling Center and our teaching staff,” Dutey said. “I know The Counseling Center felt strong strong enough to put this on the ballot. It was unfortunate it did not pass but, we want to see this happen in our district.”

To download a complete copy of the survey, visit www.casacolumbia.org/upload/2012/20120822teensurvey.pdf.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.