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The Informed Parent

Drug Use In Students, Part Two

by Peter W. Welty, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Nov. 29, 2004

As we discussed in last month’s article, the recent Pride Survey is a report of current teen drug use from the National Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education, Inc. in Atlanta. This survey, the group’s sixteenth, surveyed more than 107,000 students in grades 6 - 12. It’s purpose was to examine current drug use trends. The study concluded that roughly one-fourth of the nation’s youth were involved in illicit drug use at least once during the year. Last month we focused on marijuana usage. It was concluded that one in eight students in the overall group, and one in four 12th graders use marijuana monthly.

Other than marijuana, the biggest percentage increases were recorded for the annual use of heroin, cocaine, inhalants and downers. The rates ranged from 3.0 percent for heroin, to 5.8 percent for inhalants. Also, the use of Ecstasy at 4.9 percent and OxyContin at 4.2 percent were described as being used by students at least once during the past year. Nearly one quarter of the students say they use drugs at their house or a friend’s house, while 5 percent say they use their drugs at school. They are more likely to use drugs after school, on weeknights or on the weekends (32 percent) than during school (5 percent). And, in conclusion, students felt that their teachers and administrators were more likely to punish them for their drug use than their parents were.

This survey gives us parents and teachers much information, and gives us many opportunities to change our children’s environment, so that drug use is minimized or discontinued. The entire Pride Survey can be viewed on

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