Survey: Most teens drink

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The results of a local Pride survey should give any parent of a middle or high school student pause.

The national survey, used by more than 8,000 school systems nationwide, is used to measure illicit drug use by youth. To prevent the collection of false information from students prone to answer so as to impress their friends, the survey asks each question in several different ways, guaranteeing more accurate results.

And what local Pride surveys show is that students start experimenting with tobacco as early as the sixth grade (10 percent) and by their senior years, more than half (54.2 percent) are using alcohol.

The local survey shows that it is in their “unsupervised” time that students use alcohol. Programs like Andalusia City Schools’ peer helpers have improved the numbers, but there remains a problem.

Surveys also show that parents have the most influence on the decisions teens make about alcohol and drugs.

There are serious legal repercussions for teens caught in possession of and/or using alcohol and illegal drugs, not to mention the dangers of putting an impaired teen behind the wheel. We hope every parent of every teen in Covington County will use the most recent Pride survey results as a reminder to talk with their children about this very important issue.