Saturday, June 24th, 2017

LACE provides 24th Annual Survey results

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015

In 2014 the Indiana Prevention Resource Center conducted the 24th Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use by Indiana Children and Adolescents. Significant findings for Indiana include: monthly heroin use among 12th graders is more than twice as high as the national rate and methamphetamine use by 12th graders remains above the national rate.

Indiana has the second highest prevalence rate of high school students who report they ever took prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription, 21.4%, as compared to the nationwide rate of 20.7%; monthly marijuana use remained about the same as last year; over 7% of Indiana’s 8th graders and almost 18% of 12th graders used marijuana in the past 30 days. Previously, there was a downward trend; and cigarettes, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol were used primarily by females in Grades seven to 12 in one or more of the time periods surveyed.

There is good news, however. In the Northeast region, many of the usage rates are at or below state averages. In addition, there are several instances in which the rates are significantly lower than state rates. Those rates include: binge drinking among sixth graders, 2.6% in the region versus 5.4% statewide; alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and marijuana usage by eighth graders are each at about half of the state rate; for 11th graders, alcohol consumption is 25.8% statewide and 20.5% for the region, and marijuana usage is 15.8% statewide versus 8.3% in the region; and alcohol consumption by 12th graders, 27.5% students in the region reported consuming alcohol as compared to 33.9% in Indiana.

The survey indicated that family members were the primary source of alcohol for youth in Grades six to nine. The higher the grade level, the more likely the student was to report that someone bought it for him or her, or they received it from a person aged 21 or older. These results suggest that youth drinking could be reduced if parents and family members better understood the risk of harm that alcohol presents, and prevented youth from accessing alcohol kept in the home.

Although many usage rates are declining, prevention efforts need to continue. Research shows that the younger a person is when he or she begins using alcohol, the more likely the person is to experience alcohol dependence and abuse. Those who began drinking before age 14 were more likely to have alcohol dependence later in life. The survey data shows an average age of first use of substances ranges from 12 to 14 years, where typically cigarettes are first, and then alcohol, followed by marijuana. If youth perceive that their peers or parents will disapprove, they are far less likely to use substances. Frequent discussions between parents and their children are key.

For more information on the LACE program, follow them on Facebook at Local Anti-Drug Coalition Efforts - LACE.