Good news from the Sunshine State: a declining number of teenagers from the various middle schools and high schools in the state are experimenting with such substances as marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs.
The results of the 2011 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS) indicated that less than 10 percent of students tried drugs other than marijuana in the last thirty days of the conduct of the survey. In addition, only 12 percent of students admitted to marijuana use in the same time period – a figure that is lower than the previous year’s percentage.
According to the website of the Florida Department of Children and Families, the FYSAS is conducted through cooperation between the Florida departments of Health, Education, Children and Families, Juvenile Justice, and the Governor’s Office of Drug Control. It is based on the Communities That Care Youth Survey, and was first administered in the school year 1999 – 2000. It has been conducted annually since then, in the spring.
From 2002 until 2011, drug use among teens for substances other than marijuana declined steadily each year.
Among the substances in question during the survey, alcohol remains to be the most commonly used, with about half of students in Florida who participated in the survey admitting to trying it at some point, and one in eight admitting to engaging in binge drinking over the past couple of weeks of the conduct of the survey.
The report indicated, however, that there is a steady decline in both prevalence of alcohol use, which fell 6.8 percentage points among middle school students and 7.7 percent among high school students between 2004 and 2011, and binge drinking, which fell 2.7 percent among middle school students and 6.3 percentage points among high school students between 2006 and 2011.