Survey shows student attitudes about substances

Published 12:28 pm Saturday, September 23, 2017

Students in grades 6-12 in Covington County believe that cigarettes and prescription drugs are worse for you than alcohol and marijuana, according to Pride Survey data released at the county’s Religious Leaders Symposium this week.

According to data provided, students are asked, “How much do you think people risk harming themselves physically or in other ways if they – smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use marijuana or prescription pills.

The answers are used to measure the statistic by reporting the percentage of students who respond that using the drug is moderate risk or great risk to their health.

For all local school systems combined:

  • Sixth : 72.6 percent thought there was a risk for cigarettes; 68.8 percent for alcohol, 73.2 percent for marijuana; and 75.5 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Seventh: 76.7 percent perception of risk for cigarettes; 71 percent for alcohol; 73.5 percent for marijuana and 79.2 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Eighth: 78 percent perception of risk for cigarettes; 70.1 percent for alcohol; 66.3 percent for marijuana; and 83.4 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Ninth: 76.4 percent for cigarettes; 64.9 percent for alcohol; 61.9 percent for marijuana; and 77.8 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Tenth: 79.5 percent for cigarettes; 73.3 percent for alcohol; 65.6 percent for marijuana; and 82.8 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Eleventh: 83.1 percent for cigarettes; 67.5 percent for alcohol; 61 percent for marijuana; and 84.8 percent for prescription drugs;
  • Twelfth: 82.4 percent for cigarettes; 77.1 percent for alcohol; 52.8 percent for marijuana; 85.7 percent for prescription drugs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics study on children, adolescents, substance abuse and the media shows that tobacco and alcohol represent the two most significant drug threats to adolescents.

The Academy said that the $25 million-plus per year advertising for these drugs has been effective in garnering attention of adolescents.

And adolescents who smoke tobacco or drink alcohol are 65 times more likely to use marijuana than someone who does not.

Prescriptions drugs are also a problem, the Academy said.

Additionally, 30-day use of cigarettes jumps from 4.5 percent in sixth graders to 20.6 percent in seniors, according to Pride results.

Thirty-day use of alcohol jumps from 4 percent in sixth graders to 20.4 percent in juniors, which is the highest reported.

For marijuana, sixth graders reported a 0.5 percent 30-day use and junior topped out at 10 percent.

Thirty-day use for prescription drugs stood at 1.1 percent for sixth graders and 5.6 percent for seniors.

Seniors at Opp and Andalusia did not report results.