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bieramar

Children's Drug Use/Abuse

By MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
Feb. 19, 2011

Underage and binge drinking and marijuana and cigarette use among St. Johns County high school students are higher than the statewide average, but middle school use is lower, a recent student survey shows.

Through December, 41 percent of the county's high school students reported drinking alcohol compared to 38 percent statewide, according to the 2010 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey.

Fourteen percent of St. Johns middle school students said they drank last month....

The numbers and students' reports of where they get the alcohol concerns Ponte Vedra High School Principal Craig Speziale.

"It's an access issue," he said. "Sometimes they get it from their own home or the home of their friend. I'd like to see our kids be more educated about the peril of anything that impairs you."

Students reported the most common source of alcohol was someone giving it to them or someone buying it for them.

The binge drinking numbers show that 23 percent of high school students and 4 percent of middle students reported consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row....

The report shows that 22 percent of high school students and 8 percent of middle school students used marijuana in December....

The survey, completed by 1,357 middle and high school students in St. Johns, was administered by the PACT (Prevention Advocacy Choices Teamwork) Prevention Coalition, a nonprofit organization....

Sixty-five percent of St. Johns high school and 29 percent of middle school students reported having used alcohol in their lifetime....

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says teenagers who drink before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21....

The [St. Johns Co. School] district has also set consequences for students participating in extracurricular activities such as football. For example, students caught at a party where alcohol is served could be suspended from team activities.

For complete results of the survey, visit http://www.pactprevention.org
FAQs: http://www.pactprevention.org/faqs.html
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As the son of an alcoholic, and an alcoholic myself since age 14 (fortunately only an abuser, and not a physically addicted or alcohol dependent type), I have been always been concerned and actively involved with the realities of school age children's alcohol drinking and drug use and abuse.

Forty years ago in St. Johns County Schools - after finally defeating much parental, school and local government opposition - a handful of local social workers polled St. Augustine public and private school students, with very similar results as from this December 2010 polling. Against continuing opposition and denial of the children's drug/alcohol use/abuse, the first local Drug Abuse Treatment and Prevention Center was established - Jam House Inc. at 48 Charlotte St.  I was the Executive Director 1973-1976.

Two items in the article draw my attention; first the statement "teenagers who drink before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21," and "students caught at a party where alcohol is served could be suspended from team activities."  

Any thoughts, anyone?
Mac IX

A hell of a lot more access to a hell of a lot more serious stuff is part of the issue.

Lots of parents getting more pills makes pills accessible (and psychologically acceptable) to more kids.  Glad there is less in Jr. hi as it may mean that it is becoming less acceptable (which is what will end it faster than anything).  You are beginning to see smoking much less acceptable or accessible and a major class distinction is developing between those who do and those who don't.

Bad scene.
auntmartymoo

I think the part about suspending students from team activities sounds like a good idea...a deterrent perhaps.
Mac IX

AMM: I think it is commonly done in most schools any more and in most outside school activities including band and cheerleading and things like that.  Ohio also suspends Drivers Licences for too many unexcused absences.  That made a lot more parents into liars but it did keep a few more kids in school on a more regular basis.
auntmartymoo

My (private) high school was very strict.  Every student had to sign an Honor Pledge.  It listed all the rules and consequences for bad behaviors.  And for the big ones...cheating, alcohol, drugs...the consequence was expulsion.  One strike, you're out.  

They never hesitated to remind us that it was a privilege to attend that school...and that there was a waiting list for admission with 5,000 kids' names on it.  We knew damn well that if we didn't want to follow the rules...they'd give our slot to another kid in a second!
Mac IX

And one of the things that you really should keep in mind as you review that situation is that the public schools not only don't have that privilege, they are REQUIRED to accept any and all that got thrown out of your school.

You had an ideal situation and even then everyone didn't really quite follow the rules all the time (did they.)

Now the kids thrown out of your school and all the kids that didn't get to go there in the first place are in the public school room along with kids who range in ability from about a 75 to 80 IQ (or possibly a little lower) up to kids with a 140 to 160 IQ and possibly higher.  That teacher is required to do all the lesson preps for the entire range, all the discipline, check all the papers, give all the tests, and any thing else that happens in that classroom.

She (or he) is also responsible for seeing that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE KIDS regardless of IQ or discipline status makes a minimally acceptable grade on the FCAT or whatever test is being used in that state AND HER (OR HIS) PAY DEPENDS on that one day test and the score each kid makes on it.

So, you figure out who gets the attention and who has teacher support and who is going to do what in the future.  When you have done all that then write another blurb about how bad our schools are.
auntmartymoo

Why are you reacting this way?  Jesus H. Christ.  I wasn't bragging.  And I didn't say one goddamned negative thing about public schools.  

I was making a point about how much easier it is to discipline in private schools.  I was trying to have a conversation with you...and sharing your lamentations about difficulties in disciplining students and keeping them out of trouble.

Your reaction to my post was rude and unfounded.
Mac IX

My abject apologies.  It was not my intent to be rude.  I was working to show how this was precisely the situation the public schools faced every day.

I can't "try to do better" because I wasn't trying to do bad.  Not much else to say I guess.

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