Statistics and other data regarding drug use and other risk-taking behavior among young people, as well as drug policies related to young people including prevention, education, social development, healthcare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Gangs in Schools

(Gangs in Schools)
"• Forty-five percent of high school students say that there are gangs or students who consider themselves to be part of a gang in their school.
"• Thirty-five percent of middle school students say that there are gangs or students who consider themselves to be part of a gang in their school.
"Compared to teens in schools without gangs, those in schools that have gangs are nearly twice as likely to report that their school is drug infected, meaning drugs are used, kept or sold on school grounds (30 percent vs. 58 percent).


"• The percentage of adolescents (i.e., youths aged 12 to 17) who used inhalants in the past year was lower in 2007 (3.9 percent) than in 2003, 2004, and 2005 (4.5, 4.6, and 4.5 percent, respectively)
"• Among adolescents who used inhalants for the first time in the past year (i.e., past year initiates), the rate of use of nitrous oxide or “whippits” declined between 2002 and 2007 among both genders (males: 40.2 to 20.2 percent; females: 22.3 to 12.2 percent)

Zero Tolerance Policies

(Zero Tolerance Policies) "The disciplinary policies in effect in many schools today apply zero tolerance to public school students in three draconian ways. First, they are blind to the most basic distinctions between types of offenses. In many schools, dangerousness is irrelevant; the penalties are the same for weapons and alcohol, sale and possession, robbery, and disorderly offenses. Offenses that used to be resolved informally with an apology or an after-school detention now lead to formal disciplinary hearings.

Adolescents - Usage - 12-24-09

(Non-Recreational Adolescent Marijuana Use) "The findings of this study provide one of the first in-depth descriptions of youths' use of marijuana for non-recreational purposes, adding to the growing body of research on the use of drugs to self-medicate among young people. Teens involved in regular and long-term use of marijuana for relief constructed their use of marijuana as essential to feeling better or 'normal' in situations where they perceived there were few other options available to them.

Arrests at Schools and Colleges

(Arrests at Schools and Colleges) "The most common offense code reported in arrestee records was simple assault – a crime against persons, followed by drug/narcotic violations – a crime against society. These two arrest offense codes were reportedly associated with more than half (52.2 percent) of the total arrestees. Destruction/damage/vandalism of property accounted for a relatively small portion of arrestees (6.6 percent). All other larceny and burglary, both crimes against property, involved 5.8 and 5.0 percent of the arrestees, respectively.

Alcohol and Other Drug Involvement in Criminal Offenses at Schools and Colleges

(Alcohol and Other Drug Involvement in Criminal Offenses at Schools and Colleges) "Table 9 provides the reported instances in each offense record in which the offenders were suspected of using alcohol, computers, and/or drugs.22 The data show that such use was minimal in situations occurring at schools during the 5-year study period. Of the 589,534 offense records, reports of offenders suspected of using drugs totaled 32,366, while reports of alcohol use totaled 5,844."

Children with Parents in Prison

(Children with Parents in Prison) "Since 1991, the number of children with a mother in prison has more than doubled, up 131%. The number of children with a father in prison has grown by 77%. This finding reflects a faster rate of growth in the number of mothers held in state and federal prisons (up 122%), compared to the number of fathers (up 76%) between 1991 and midyear 2007.

Risky Behavior and Substance Use

(Risky Behavior and Substance Use) "In commenting on problem behaviors among youth, Jessor and Jessor (1975) and later Jessor (1984) argued that adolescence is a period in which youth reject conventionality and traditional authority figures in an effort to establish their own independence. For a significant number of adolescents, this rejection consists of engaging in a number of 'risky' behaviors, including drug and alcohol use.