Alcohol, drugs and violence impact the youth
A new survey of Washington students shows most kids are saying no to alcohol, drug use, and other risky behaviors, but too many continue to risk their health and future success.
The anonymous survey is taken by thousands of public school kids in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades every two years. It covers a variety of topics including drug and alcohol use, weapons in schools, gang involvement, cigarette smoking, physical activity, and more.
"With our community partners we are making good progress in preventing most youth from using alcohol and other drugs," said Robin Arnold-Williams, Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services. "But with kids being exposed to more alcohol advertising, and more 10th and 12th graders saying they were drunk or high at school, it's important that parents and caregivers talk more often with their kids about the risks of alcohol use, and model healthy choices."
While programs that discourage risky behavior appear to be working, there are still far too many youth doing things that put their health at risk. Survey findings include:
- Nearly one in four 10th graders reported being drunk in the past 30 days.
- Since 2000, binge drinking by 8th graders has gone down by 42 percent. Binge drinking among 10th and 12th graders is also lower than in 2000, but since 2002 there have been no further declines.
- One in five 12th graders and almost as many 10th graders said they were drunk or high at school in the past year