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Old 08-19-2005, 05:44 PM   #1
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Survey Finds Fewer Drug-Free Schools

This study surprised me. The sample size is admittedly not very large, but 40%+ increases in availability...wow.

Perhaps it's just semantics, but as a parent I'm irked by the tendency of teen substance abuse experts to portray "parental responsibility" as a simple matter of handing your kids a list of Don'ts, then grilling them about their compliance on a regular basis. All the hawkeyed monitoring in the world won't help if you don't have your children's trust and respect...a much more involved goal to accomplish than the removal of asbestos.

Quote:
Survey Finds Fewer Drug-Free Schools
By Rebecca Carroll (AP)
August 18, 2005

WASHINGTON -- More teens are saying there are drugs in their schools, and those who have access to them are more likely to try them, said a Columbia University survey released Thursday.

Twenty-eight percent of middle-school-student respondents reported that drugs are used, kept or sold at their schools, a 47 percent jump since 2002, according to the 10th annual teen survey by Columbia's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The number of high schoolers saying drugs are at their schools rose 41 percent in the last three years, to 62 percent, the survey said.

Twelve- to 17-year-olds who report that there are drugs in their schools are three times likelier to try marijuana and twice as likely to drink alcohol than teens who say their schools are drug free, the survey showed. "Availability is the mother of use," said Joseph Califano Jr., the Center's president. "We really are putting an enormous number of 12- to 17-year-olds at great risk."

Most of the teens surveyed -- 58 percent -- said the legality of cigarettes has no effect on their decision to smoke or abstain, and 48 percent said the fact that marijuana is illegal doesn't affect whether they use or don't use the drug. Meanwhile, the survey found teens who viewed drugs as morally wrong were significantly less likely to try them, as were those who felt their parents would be "extremely upset" to discover drug use.

The report found that teens who confided in their parents were at much lower risk of drug abuse than teens who turn first to another adult. "If this survey does anything, it really shouts to parents: You cannot outsource your responsibility to law enforcement or the schools," Califano said. "I think when parents feel as strongly about drugs in the schools as they do about asbestos in the schools, we'll start getting the drugs out of the schools."

The survey also found that teens who say they watch three or more R-rated movies in a typical month -- about 43 percent -- are seven times likelier to smoke cigarettes and six times likelier to try alcohol than teens who do not watch R-rated movies. The correlation between R-rated movie watching and the risk of substance-abuse remains even after controlling for age, the report said. This was the first time the annual survey asked about R-rated movies. "There's no question the correlation is very strong and it obviously wants further study," Califano said.

The survey was conducted by phone and involved 1,000 randomly selected teens aged 12 to 17 years old and 829 parents. Twenty-six percent of the teens said someone nearby could hear their answers. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for the teens and plus or minus 3.4 percentage point for the parents.
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:40 PM   #2
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You mean there are schools that are drug free?

Honestly, I remember kids smoking pot right outside the back door during breaks when I was in what would now be called middle school. That was 30 years ago. I'm sure there was more than pot available too.

I guess, remembering that, I'm surprised people think there is such a thing as a truly drug-free school. I do think some schools have more drug saturation perhaps.
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:57 PM   #3
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We won't have drug free schools until we have drug free parents.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:01 PM   #4
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I had a friend from Texas who told me in the '80s about random drug searches at his school. I was quite shocked at this but now in Ireland from speaking to a friend of mine who is a teacher, sounds like random drug searches are needed here also.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We won't have drug free schools until we have drug free parents.
Quite true. Honestly, while I don't doubt there are still drug problems in schools-god, in Iowa, it was quite a big problem (Iowa, the meth capital of the U.S.-yippee ...)-at the same time, I've been coming across more stories of parents doing drugs nowadays than I have teens. It's amazing.

The parents are the biggest influence, and yolland, you're absolutely right, it takes more than just saying "Don't do it" to get a kid to wise up about that sort of thing. My dad told many stories to me of all the stuff that happened to him and his friends when they messed around with that stuff when they were in their teens and early 20s (my dad stopped everything of that sort when he found out he was going to be a dad, hasn't touched it all since), and I got the message loud and clear that way. Plus, there's a great deal of trust and respect between him and me (and between my mom and me, too).

Also, we had random searches at our schools in Iowa, too, and those didn't really stop anything-kids still did drugs. I think it'd take a lot more than random searches of lockers to stop that sort of problem, again, you need to get to the root of it all. Searching a locker isn't getting to the root of it all. Besides that, kids are clever, if they know that lockers are being searched, they'll find other ways to hide the stuff, and then what? How far are we going to go to dig around for drugs?

Angela
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra
You mean there are schools that are drug free?
Seriously... I know where I could get pot (and a whole lot of other stuff right up to crystal meth) if I wanted to. But I don't. It's got to do with personal choices, not creating some kind of bubble...that's not possible.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:18 AM   #7
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Sadly, I feel like the only way we could get drug-free schools these days is to have sniffing dogs patrolling all day long.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
Seriously... I know where I could get pot (and a whole lot of other stuff right up to crystal meth) if I wanted to. But I don't. It's got to do with personal choices, not creating some kind of bubble...that's not possible.
I agree -- it's hard to imagine a situation in which illegal drugs were entirely unavailable so the focus should be on educating people so they're able to make informed and rational decisions about drug use.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We won't have drug free schools until we have drug free parents.
That seems a bit too much like a soundbite to me, and it's not necessarily true -- I'm sure there are plenty of young people whose parents have never touched drugs who choose to experiment with them while there are plenty of people whose parents use or have used drugs and yet will never engage in drug use.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:01 AM   #10
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we won't ever have drug free schools, kids, or parents. we need to think about how we've been trained to think about drugs -- they are less of a law-and-order problem and much more of a health problem.

we also need to stop wasting out money on busting generally harmless pot dealers and smokers and go after vastly more harmful drugs like crack, heroin, and especially crystal meth.

i know that people like to bust pot smokers and dealers because pot is, by far, the most used illegal drug, and it makes sububan mothers feel better -- not to mention more than a few politicians who love to trump up the fact that drug arrests/busts are up, yet they're busting a 60-something couple in burlington, vt with four plants in their basement rather than dealing with the crystal meth labs out in the desert.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
while there are plenty of people whose parents use or have used drugs and yet will never engage in drug use.

This is me My dad was quite wild until his mid-20s. He never became obsessed with or addicted to any drugs or alcohol, but he wasn't academic so he worked in contracting, didn't finish college, and loved his weekend parties! This was almost a blessing in the end b/c my parents never treated me like we lived in a bubble or that drugs were totally evil and/or simply didn't exist. I've never smoked or tried any drug, but it's not really because my parents drilled that into me, I've just never put myself in situations where drug use would be encouraged and I know my parents would be disappointed in me if I had because they'd given me so much independence and trust my entire life. There has to be a happy medium between supporting your child and disciplining your child.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:13 AM   #12
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Re: Survey Finds Fewer Drug-Free Schools

Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
All the hawkeyed monitoring in the world won't help if you don't have your children's trust and respect
I agree w/ that , that is so important. Honest communication w/ kids is too, about drugs and about how they are feeling about anything and everything. I was never around drugs other than alcohol growing up, there is alcoholism in my family but it turned me the other way against drinking. There was pot in school, I was offered but never tried it. I have never tried drugs and have no interest in them. I've smoked the occasional regular cigarette , I consider that a drug of sorts but I'm not addicted to it. When I was a kid/teenager it had to do w/ the respect I had for my Mother and not wanting to let her down so to speak, and I never hung out w/ kids/teens who did drugs. My Mother kept pretty close tabs on me. I also had adult responsibilities at an early age, both my parents worked and I was home alone after school, had household chores in addition to my homework, etc. I think boredom plays a part in drug use, obviously it's just one small part and there are several other factors.

There are cases of parents, rare hopefully, who get their kids into drugs-Robert Downey Jr being one I can think of
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
we won't ever have drug free schools, kids, or parents. we need to think about how we've been trained to think about drugs -- they are less of a law-and-order problem and much more of a health problem.

we also need to stop wasting out money on busting generally harmless pot dealers and smokers and go after vastly more harmful drugs like crack, heroin, and especially crystal meth.

i know that people like to bust pot smokers and dealers because pot is, by far, the most used illegal drug, and it makes sububan mothers feel better -- not to mention more than a few politicians who love to trump up the fact that drug arrests/busts are up, yet they're busting a 60-something couple in burlington, vt with four plants in their basement rather than dealing with the crystal meth labs out in the desert.
Some interesting points raised here. My dad thinks if anyone should go to jail, it's the people who deal things like heroin and crack and meth and stuff like that. The people actually doing the drugs, he feels, should get rehabilitation instead of jail time. But the dealers of things like crack and heroin and that...they're generally also really ruthless in their dealings and can really hurt a lot of people, some of whom have never touched the drugs but just happened to know somebody who did them, so that's why he feels the dealers should be in jail.

But yeah, my dad's said that if I were going to do any drug, he'd prefer I do pot over something like heroin or meth. Course, he'd really prefer I didn't do any illegal drugs at all, which I can safely say he shouldn't have to worry about. After an incident regarding a meth lab not too far from where we lived in Nebraska a couple of years ago, I can definitely state that I'll avoid meth at all costs, and I can't say I have much of a desire to try crack or heroin (I've heard about the effects of heroin...it sounds like some really scary stuff...) or anything else like that, either.

Angela
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:23 AM   #14
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Yeah, the occasional recreational pot use is not the same as making meth in your basement and ruining hundreds of people's lives with it.

On the issue of trust, it really goes both ways. It'd be really nice if parents would be willing to build trust and allow their kid to prove they're trustworthy...instead of just assuming that because they're a teen they're shooting up all the time, that really makes a person feel great.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
On the issue of trust, it really goes both ways. It'd be really nice if parents would be willing to build trust and allow their kid to prove they're trustworthy...instead of just assuming that because they're a teen they're shooting up all the time, that really makes a person feel great.
Yes, that would definitely be nice, too.

Angela
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