Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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Substance Abuse

More than 40% of all Sacramento County students have used alcohol or other drugs by the time they complete 9th grade, and 60% have used by the time they complete the 11th grade. There has been very little change in usage rates over the past five years.  Alcohol and marijuana are more prevalent than tobacco use among middle and high school students.

Drug and Alcohol Use

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Why is this important?

  • Recent national studies have found that teens who use alcohol and other drugs are:
  • seven times more likely to engage in risky sexual activities at an earlier age;
  • five times more likely to drop out of school;
  • 12 times more likely to be on juvenile probation;
  • and twice as likely to think about suicide.

How are we doing?

  • There has been little change in the percentage of students using alcohol or other drugs over the past decade.
  • Alcohol and marijuana remain the most commonly used substances in both 9th and 11th grades, but misuses of "medicine cabinet" substances; prescription painkillers, cold and cough medicines, and inhalants are on the rise and show a high percentage of use.
  • For 7th grade students, one-fifth (21%) have used alcohol, and 1 in 10 (10%) have used marijuana or inhalants.
  • Nearly one-fifth (18%) of 11th grade students report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24%) of 11th grade students, and one-fifth (20%) of 9th grade students, report driving after drinking or being a passenger in a car with a peer driving who had been drinking.

Tobacco Use

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Why is this important?

  • 90% of all smokers began smoking as teenagers. Individuals who start smoking before the age of 20 have the highest incidence and earliest onset of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic, life threatening diseases.

How are we doing?

  • The number and percentage of youth who smoke had stayed the same or declined for all age groups over the past decade.
  • For all age groups, the use of marijuana is greater than the use of tobacco.

Data Source: California Healthy Kids Survey

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 12:19