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Lee schools: Alcohol, drug, tobacco use declining

By Staff | Nov 17, 2009

The Lee County 2009 Teens Norms Survey administered in September indicates that most Lee County teens are alcohol, tobacco and marijuana free, School District of Lee County said Tuesday.
The anonymous survey was administered to students at Cypress Lake, Estero, East Lee County, Island Coast, Ida Baker High and Bishop Verot high schools and Dunbar and Mariner middle schools.
When asked what students typically drink when they hang out with friends, 97 percent of the middle school students and 92 percent of the high school students reported something other than alcohol (i.e. bottled water, sports drink, pop/soda, tea, coffee, juice, milk, etc.). Seventy-one percent of high school students reported that they don’t approve of parents who provide alcohol to students.
Thirty-day use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana is more indicative of daily use and even those figures indicated that the majority of our teens don’t use:
· 70 percent had not had a cigarette;
· 64 percent had not had alcohol;
· 76 percent had not had marijuana.
The issue that needs to be addressed is that students think most of the other students are using the substances listed above. Misperceptions can create a false norm and create peer pressure to use, a concerted effort is being made to get the true messages to students and their parents so they realize most students are saying “no,” officials said.
Parents, law enforcement, medical professionals and teachers were reported by students as the most reliable sources of information on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
That’s why it’s important that adults talk to teens they know to make sure they understand that the teen brain is not fully developed until about age 25, officials said, adding drugs added to an undeveloped brain can make teens more impulsive and irrational, with no regard for consequences. The changes in the brain from substance abuse can cause permanent problems later in life.

Source: School District of Lee County