News

New Drug Survey Reveals Troublesome Trends Among High School Students

High school students (file/credit: CBS 2)

High school students (file/credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As kids head back to school, a new survey has just been released that will have parents alarmed about the drug and alcohol dilemma many students face during the school day.

The study of more than 1,000 12- to 17-year-olds across the country found that nearly 9 out of 10 high school students said classmates were using drugs, drinking or smoking during the school day.

While parents may be shocked, some teenagers who talked to CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu on Thursday were not.

“That I don’t find surprising at all,” said 16-year-old Jonathan Diaz, of Crown Heights.

Maria Medina, 15, said marijuana can be smelled at her school even during the day.

The survey was conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The head of the group said the dealers are getting younger and younger.

“They don’t go to some guy in a dirty trench coat in a lousy neighborhood. They’re buying drugs from their classmates,” said Joseph Califano of CASA Columbia.

The survey found nearly half of high schoolers know a student who sells drugs at their school — from marijuana and prescription drugs to cocaine and ecstasy.

Students are often getting prescription drugs from their parents’ own medicine cabinet. And the same goes for alcohol — a lot of it is coming from students’ own homes or being purchased by older friends, officials said.

With the popularity of social networking sites also comes digital peer pressure.

“We have pictures on the social networking sites of teens partying with alcohol and marijuana and three-fourths of the teens we surveyed say that encourages teens to party the same way,” Califano said.

Ilicia Manger said the survey results are upsetting but not surprising and it’s up to parents to stay on top of it.

“I think it’s important to know all their friends, know their friends by first name, who are the kids who are bad, who are the kids who are influencing them and making sure that they know that those are the kids who are going to be doing certain things,” Manger said.

The annual survey started 17 years ago and for the first time, it found the majority of kids in private schools said their schools were drug infected.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …