Young People and Drugs

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Page last updated June 10, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.

21. Drug Availability and Drug-Related Discipline Incidents at US Public Schools

"• The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property decreased from 32  percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2015 (Indicator 9).

"• In 2015, lower percentages of Asian students (15 percent), White students (20 percent), and Black students (21 percent) than of Hispanic students (27 percent) reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property (Indicator 9).

"• During the 2014–15 school year, the rate of illicit drug-related discipline incidents was 389  per 100,000 students in the United States. The majority of jurisdictions had rates between 100 and 1,000 illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2014–15 school year. Three states had rates of illicit drug-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were below 100: Wyoming, Texas, and Michigan, while Kentucky had the only rate that was above 1,000 (Indicator 9)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

22. Law Enforcement Officers Assigned to Growing Number of US Public Schools

"• The percentage of public schools reporting the presence of security staff was higher during the 2015–16 school year than during the 2005–06 school year (57 vs. 42 percent). The percentage of schools reporting the presence of sworn law enforcement officers was also higher in 2015–16 than in 2005–06 (48 vs. 36 percent), as was the percentage of schools reporting the presence of a School Resource Officer (42 vs. 32 percent; Spotlight 1).

"• Among secondary schools with any sworn law enforcement officer present at least once a week, a lower percentage of schools in cities reported having an officer who carried a firearm (87  percent) compared with schools in towns (97 percent) and schools in suburban and rural areas (95 percent each; Spotlight 1).

"• Among public schools with any sworn law enforcement officers, a lower percentage of primary schools (51 percent) than of secondary schools (70 percent) reported their school or district had any formalized policies or written documents (such as a Memorandum of Use or Memorandum of Agreement) that outlined the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of sworn law enforcement officers at school (Spotlight 1)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

23. Gang Presence at US Public Schools Decreased Dramatically Between 2001 and 2015

"• Between 2001 and 2015, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported that gangs were present at their school decreased from 20 to 11 percent. The percentage who reported gangs were present at their school was also lower in 2015 than in 2013 (12 percent; Indicator 8).

"• A higher percentage of students from urban areas (15 percent) reported a gang presence than of students from suburban (10 percent) and rural areas (4 percent) in 2015. Additionally, a higher percentage of students attending public schools (11 percent) than of students attending private schools (2 percent) reported that gangs were present at their school in 2015 (Indicator 8).

"• In 2015, higher percentages of Black (17 percent) and Hispanic (15 percent) students reported the presence of gangs at their school than of White (7 percent) and Asian (4 percent) students (Indicator 8)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

24. Alcohol-Related Discipline Incidents at US Public Schools

"During the 2014–15 school year, there were 22,500 reported alcohol-related discipline incidents in the United States (table 15.5).73 The number of alcohol-related incidents varies widely across jurisdictions, due in large part to their differing populations. Therefore, the rate of alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students can provide a more comparable indication of the frequency of these incidents across jurisdictions. During the 2014–15 school year, the rate of alcohol-related discipline incidents was 45 per 100,000 students in the United States.

"The majority of jurisdictions had rates between 10 and 100 alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students during the 2014–15 school year. Two states had rates of alcohol-related discipline incidents per 100,000 students that were below 10: Texas and Wyoming, while six states had rates above 100: Arkansas, Alaska, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, and Colorado."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

25. Prevalence Among US High School Students of Having Carried a Weapon on School Property in the Previous 30 Days, by Gender

"Nationwide, 3.8% of students had carried a weapon (e.g., a gun, knife, or club) on school property on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (Supplementary Table 18). The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among male (5.6%) than female (1.9%) students; higher among white male (5.9%), black male (5.4%), and Hispanic male (4.5%) than white female (1.7%), black female (1.7%), and Hispanic female (2.5%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (3.6%), 10th-grade male (4.8%), 11th-grade male (7.1%), and 12th-grade male (7.0%) than 9th-grade female (1.3%), 10th-grade female (1.4%), 11th-grade female (3.0%), and 12th-grade female (1.5%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among 11th-grade (5.0%) and 12th-grade (4.2%) than 9th-grade (2.5%) students; higher among 11th-grade (5.0%) than 10th-grade (3.2%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (3.0%) than 9th-grade female (1.3%), 10th-grade female (1.4%), and 12th-grade female (1.5%) students; and higher among 11th-grade male (7.1%) and 12th-grade male (7.0%) than 9th-grade male (3.6%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 3.4% of heterosexual students; 5.9% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 4.9% of not sure students had carried a weapon on school property (Supplementary Table 18). The prevalence of having carried a weapon on school property was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (5.9%) than heterosexual (3.4%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (4.9%) than heterosexual (1.4%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual male (5.0%) than heterosexual female (1.4%) students and higher among not sure male (6.8%) than not sure female (2.2%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

26. Current Alcohol Use Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 29.8% of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey (i.e., current alcohol use) (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among female (31.8%) than male (27.6%) students; higher among black female (24.3%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black male (16.9%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.0%) and 11th-grade female (36.8%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) and 11th-grade male (31.6%) students, respectively. The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among white (32.4%) and Hispanic (31.3%) than black (20.8%) students, higher among white female (33.2%) and Hispanic female (35.9%) than black female (24.3%) students, higher among white male (31.6%) and Hispanic male (26.8%) than black male (16.9%) students, and higher among white male (31.6%) than Hispanic male (26.8%) students. The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among 10th-grade (27.0%), 11th-grade (34.4%), and 12th-grade (40.8%) than 9th-grade (18.8%) students; higher among 11th-grade (34.4%) and 12th-grade (40.8%) than 10th-grade (27.0%) students; higher among 12th-grade (40.8%) than 11th-grade (34.4%) students; higher among 10th-grade female (28.7%), 11th-grade female (36.8%), and 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 9th-grade female (22.0%) students; higher among 11th-grade female (36.8%) and 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 10th-grade female (28.7%) students; higher among 12th-grade female (41.2%) than 11th-grade female (36.8%) students; higher among 10th-grade male (25.3%), 11th-grade male (31.6%), and 12th-grade male (40.5%) than 9th-grade male (15.3%) students; higher among 11th-grade male (31.6%) and 12th-grade male (40.5%) than 10th-grade male (25.3%) students; and higher among 12th grade male (40.5%) than 11th-grade male (31.6%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, the prevalence of current alcohol use was 29.7% among heterosexual students; 37.4% among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 21.5% among not sure students (Supplementary Table 98). The prevalence of current alcohol use was higher among heterosexual (29.7%) and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (37.4%) than not sure (21.5%) students and higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (37.4%) than heterosexual (29.7%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among heterosexual (32.2%) and lesbian and bisexual (39.9%) than not sure (20.6%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual (39.9%) than heterosexual (32.2%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual female (32.2%) than heterosexual male (27.7%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual female (39.9%) than gay and bisexual male (29.5%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

27. Students' Perceptions of their Personal Safety Both At School and Away From School

"Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school decreased overall (from 12 to 3 percent), as well as among male students (from 11 to 3 percent) and female students (from 13 to 4 percent). In addition, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school decreased between 1995 and 2015 for White students (from 8 to 3 percent), Black students (from 20 to 3 percent), and Hispanic students (from 21 to 5 percent). A declining trend was also observed away from school: between 1999 (the first year of data collection for this item) and 2015, the percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school decreased from 6 to 2 percent overall, from 4 to 1 percent for male students, and from 7 to 3 percent for female students. The percentages of White, Black, and Hispanic students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school also decreased during this period (from 4 to 2 percent for White students and from 9 to 3 percent each for Black and Hispanic students).

"Between the two most recent survey years, 2013 and 2015, no measurable differences were found in the overall percentages of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm, either at school or away from school. However, the percentage of male students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school was lower in 2015 (1 percent) than in 2013 (2 percent).

"In 2015, a higher percentage of female students than of male students reported being afraid of attack or harm at school (4 vs. 3 percent) and away from school (3 vs. 1 percent). In general, the percentages of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm at school and away from school were not measurably different across racial/ethnic groups. However, a higher percentage of Hispanic students (5 percent) than of White students (3 percent) reported being afraid of attack or harm at school in 2015. Similarly, a higher percentage of Hispanic students (3 percent) than of White students (2 percent) reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school.

"Higher percentages of 6th-graders (5 percent) and 7th- and 8th-graders (4 percent each) reported being afraid of attack or harm at school than did 10th- and 12th-graders (2 percent each) in 2015. The percentage of students who reported being afraid of attack or harm away from school was higher for 8th-graders (3 percent) than for 10th-graders (1 percent)."

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

28. Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying Among High School Students in the US, by Gender

"Nationwide, 14.9% of students had been electronically bullied (counting being bullied through texting, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media) during the 12 months before the survey (Supplementary Table 28). The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among female (19.7%) than male (9.9%) students; higher among white female (23.0%), black female (13.3%), and Hispanic female (17.2%) than white male (11.2%), black male (8.4%), and Hispanic male (7.6%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade female (22.3%), 10th-grade female (19.7%), 11th-grade female (19.9%), and 12th-grade female (16.4%) than 9th-grade male (10.9%), 10th-grade male (9.7%), 11th-grade male (8.2%), and 12th-grade male (10.4%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among white (17.3%) than black (10.9%) and Hispanic (12.3%) students, higher among white female (23.0%) and Hispanic female (17.2%) than black female (13.3%) students, higher among white female (23.0%) than Hispanic female (17.2%) students, and higher among white male (11.2%) than black male (8.4%) and Hispanic male (7.6%) students. The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among 9th-grade (16.7%) than 10th-grade (14.8%) and 12th-grade (13.5%) students, higher among 9th-grade female (22.3%) and 10th grade female (19.7%) than 12th-grade female (16.4%) students, and higher among 9th-grade male (10.9%) than 11th-grade male (8.2%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 13.3% of heterosexual students; 27.1% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 22.0% of not sure students had been electronically bullied (Supplementary Table 28). The prevalence of having been electronically bullied was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (27.1%) and not sure (22.0%) than heterosexual (13.3%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (28.5%) than heterosexual (18.6%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (22.3%) and not sure (18.2%) than heterosexual (8.8%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual female (18.6%) than heterosexual male (8.8%) students and higher among lesbian and bisexual female (28.5%) than gay and bisexual male (22.3%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

29. Prevalence and Trends in Cyberbullying of Young People and Bullying at US Public Schools

"In 2015, about 21 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (figure 11.1 and table 11.1). Of students ages 12–18, about 13 percent reported that they were made fun of, called names, or insulted; 12 percent reported being the subject of rumors; 5 percent reported that
they were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose. Additionally, 4 percent of students reported
being threatened with harm, 3 percent reported that others tried to make them do things they did not want to do, and 2 percent reported that their property was
destroyed by others on purpose.

"In 2015, a higher percentage of female than of male students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year (23 vs. 19 percent), as well as being the subject of rumors (15 vs. 9 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of male than of female students reported being threatened with harm (5 vs. 3 percent).
"Higher percentages of Black students (25 percent) and White students (22 percent) than of Hispanic students (17 percent) reported being bullied at school in 2015. The percentage of students who reported being made fun of, called names, or insulted was also higher for Black students (17 percent) and White students (14 percent) than for Hispanic students (9  percent). The percentage of students who reported being the subject of rumors was higher for Black students (14 percent), White students (13 percent), and Hispanic students (10 percent) than for Asian students (5 percent).

Notes:
“Bullying” includes students who responded that another student had made fun of them, called them names, or insulted them; spread rumors about them; threatened them with harm; tried to make them do something they did not want to do; excluded them from activities on purpose; destroyed their property on purpose; or pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on them.
“At school” includes in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, and going to and from school.
“Cyberbullying” includes students who responded that another student had posted hurtful information about them on the Internet; purposely shared private information about them on the Internet; threatened or insulted them through instant messaging; threatened or insulted them through text messaging; threatened or insulted them through e-mail; threatened or insulted them while gaming; or excluded them online.
In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), bullying was defined for respondents as “when one or more students tease, threaten, spread rumors about, hit, shove, or hurt another student over and over again.” “On school property” was not defined for survey respondents.
Being electronically bullied includes “being bullied through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, or texting.”

Musu-Gillette, L., Zhang, A., Wang, K., Zhang, J., Kemp, J., Diliberti, M., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036/NCJ 251413). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC.
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

30. Prevalence Among High School Students in the US of Ever Having Injected a Drug, by Gender

"Nationwide, 1.5% of students had used a needle to inject any illegal drug into their body one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among male (2.0%) than female (0.8%) students; higher among white male (1.4%), black male (2.6%), and Hispanic male (2.1%) than white female (0.5%), black female (1.1%), and Hispanic female (0.9%) students, respectively; and higher among 9th-grade male (2.1%) and 10th-grade male (1.9%) than 9th grade female (0.6%) and 10th-grade female (0.6%) students, respectively. The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among 12th-grade (1.9%) than 11th-grade (1.1%) students and higher among 12th-grade female (1.3%) than 11th-grade female (0.7%) students.

"Analyses based on the question ascertaining sexual identity indicated that nationwide, 1.0% of heterosexual students; 3.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 6.1% of not sure students had ever injected any illegal drug (Supplementary Table 129). The prevalence of having ever injected any illegal drug was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual (3.4%) and not sure (6.1%) than heterosexual (1.0%) students. Among female students, the prevalence was higher among lesbian and bisexual (2.3%) than heterosexual (0.4%) students. Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual (5.7%) and not sure (8.0%) than heterosexual (1.5%) students. The prevalence also was higher among heterosexual male (1.5%) than heterosexual female (0.4%) students and higher among gay and bisexual male (5.7%) than lesbian and bisexual female (2.3%) students."

Laura Kann, PhD; Tim McManus, MS; William A. Harris, MM; et al. "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control, June 15, 2018), Vol. 67, No. 8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...
https://www.cdc.gov/...

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