Survey Reveals Extent of Teen Substance Abuse


A recent survey made at Wood County is showing the extent of substance abuse among kids, specifically from the fifth to the twelfth grades. Back in February, students from the Wood County public schools district participated in the study and what they revealed should be a wake-up call for all concerned authorities.

Results of the survey confirmed that there are about 15.2% of twelfth graders who smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days prior to the survey. What was surprising and alarming was the fact that more kids are smoking pot than cigarettes, with 19.9% of the participants admitting to marijuana use. Just last year, 15.6% of seniors from schools in the district said they had used weed more than ten times.

Project director for the Safe Schools Healthy Student Initiative and the Wood County Educational Service Center, Kyle Clark, said that marijuana use among teens is increasing in other parts of the country as well. Clark added that the legalization of marijuana has sent confusing messages to kids which might have triggered for statistics to rise.

As the debate on medical marijuana continues, students could get the wrong idea that the substance is safe. Clark calls for school authorities and anti-substance abuse groups to focus on the prevention methods to discourage kids from using marijuana.

Results also revealed that there is a continuing drop on the use of cigarettes among 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Even alcohol use dropped, giving Wood County its lowest rate ever since the annual survey started in 2004.

“Well over 60 percent of our kids have not taken a drink; have not smoked a cigarette ever. And those are good statistics to have.”

Also included in the report was the issue of bullying with almost 33% of Wood County students falling victims to these kinds of situations, which could increase their risks for substance abuse.

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