Indian River students drinking, smoking less than in past years

By Henry A. Stephens Posted December 21, 2012 in part from Indian River Press Journal.

Indian River County, Florida - After a set of disturbing survey findings in 2010, in which county middle- and high-school students were using more alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, 2012 results show them back on a path to coping without substances.

“I have just received the best Christmas present ever,” Robin Dapp, executive director of the county’s Substance Awareness Center, said Friday in an email relaying the results to her agency’s supporters.

Dapp cited Indian River County’s portion of results from the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey, conducted by the state Department of Children and Families.

Dapp said the latest results support the goals of her agency’s Lifeskills Training classes, which students take in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

“(Starting) drug addiction is an adolescent condition,” she said. “With very few exceptions, when people start, it’s almost always at 15 or 16. So the longer we can delay the use, the better off they are.”

Tracking substance use through middle and high schools

Less than half of Indian River County’s middle- and high-school students reported in March they have used alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana, a new survey says.

The new Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey shows:

  • 48.4 percent of the 1,399 sampled students drank alcohol
  • 23.3 percent smoked cigarettes
  • 24 percent used marijuana
  • These figures show declines from 2010, when:
  • 56 percent of the student population drank alcohol
  • 31.6 percent smoked cigarettes
  • 27.4 percent used marijuana

Source: Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County

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