August 22nd, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Survey: 17% of high schoolers drink, smoke, use drugs during school day

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) - About 17% of American high school students drink, smoke or use drugs during the school day, a new survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says.

It's no surprise to their classmates, either: 86% say they know the 2.8 million who are abusing substances during the day, according to the latest version of the center's annual back-to-school survey. The estimate is based on information gleaned from telephone interviews with about 1,000 kids ages 12 to 17.

The survey found that 44% of high school students know a classmate who sells drugs at school, and 60% say that drugs are available on campus. Marijuana was the most-sold on school grounds, students said, as well as prescription drugs, cocaine and ecstasy.

Here are some factors that can increase substance abuse, according to the survey.

Peer pressure

It's not just chatter in the hallways that gets kids started on booze or cigarettes. Digital peer pressure is a problem, the study says. For example, the survey found that 75% of 12- to 17-year-olds say they’re encouraged to party with marijuana or alcohol when they see images of their peers doing so.

Some 45% have seen online photos of their classmates drinking, doing drugs or passing out - a statistic that’s up 5% since last year’s survey.

Those who haven’t seen these pictures are less likely to try drugs or tobacco, the survey said.

Public schools - and now, private schools

The survey suggests there’s been a big jump in drug use in private schools.

In 2011, 36% of private school students said their school was “drug-infected.” But in the past year, that figure jumped to 54%.

It was the first time in the history of the survey that a majority of private school students reported drugs on campus.

The overall proportion of high school students, public and private, who reported drug-infected campuses was 60%.

Parental involvement and faith

Teens who say their parents are more laid back about drug or tobacco use are significantly more likely to smoke or drink, according to the survey.

Teens who say they’ve been left alone overnight – almost 30% of those surveyed – are about twice as likely to have used alcohol or marijuana and almost three times more likely to have tried tobacco than teens who’ve never been left alone at night.

Faith plays a role here, too. Teens who regularly attend religious services aren’t as likely to use illegal substances or tobacco.

The takeaway is “for parents to talk to their children and get engaged in their children’s lives… It takes a teen to know what’s going on in the teen world, but it takes parents to help their children navigate that world," said Emily Feinstein, CASAColumbia’s senior policy analyst and the project director of the survey.

Do you think kids at your school regularly use drugs or alcohol during the school day or during nights and weekends? How could schools or families try to stop it? Share your comments and ideas below.

Posted by
Filed under: Behavior • Carl Azuz • High school • Issues
soundoff (334 Responses)
  1. TX

    i dunno why everyone looks down to weed like its a bad thing..the most common 3 things highschoolers do is alcohol, cigarettes, and weed nowadays. Out of these 3 things what causes the most deaths? cigarettes is the leading cause of death in the world and alcohol is the second. what about weed? i havent heard any incidents about it right? thats because weed aint bad for you. if anything it helps you, it cares cancer patients. the only deaths that occurs with weed is during drug dealings and there you see the crime rate rises. and now if you think about it, having weed legal in every state with dispensaries across the state, what will this mean? no illegal drug dealing which means the crime rates would drop dramatically. aint that right?

    August 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • GodHelpTheTanks

      Weed may not have as many adverse affects, but no where is there proof that it cures cancer.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Private and Anonymous

      "Weed" as you call it is in fact dangerous to people. It triggers psychosis and schizophrenia in susceptible people. It contains carbon monoxide, just like cigarettes, and hundreds of uncontrolled additives at times. Just because YOU don't know anyone who has been hurt by this does not mean people are not getting hurt all the time. My bet is you are a pot-head, because everyone I know who thinks pot is harmless is a user. Do you think perhaps your own addiction may be blinding you to an obvious truth? Pot makes you introverted, stupid as a bag of nails at least. Just because something is not bad for many does not make it OK.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • yourallmorons

        You, sir, are a sheep. Continue being told how to live your life! its working for you : )

        August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Mitt W

        Listen, carbon monoxide yes – radiation, No. As of triggering psychosis, c'mon. Maybe a hallucinogen, but "weed" doesn't do that. The most harm you'll do is eat a lot and/or go to sleep. Maybe laugh a little. Looks like someone never hopped on the "reefer bandwagon" here. I bet your a mormon too... Just sayin'

        August 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • Zack

        you should watch a move called the Union. I disproves every statement that you just listed, and unlike you, with SCIENCE! and there is proof is cures cancer. You obviously are too brainwashed to realize that NOBODY has died from cannabis. Think of one person you know, who has died from cannabis (which you cant). Theres a reason 17 states have medicainal marijuana. It really is a miracle plant. I can go on all day about how you are wrong. But i have a life. I need to study for my exams tomorrow. I am living proof that cannabis does no harm to the brain or body. I go to Princeton University. Please do more research on the topic then start talking. Well if you dont mind, im off to smoke a bowl and study. Bye!

        August 27, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  2. Claire

    This needs to stop. NOW. This is not right.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  3. froodley

    Isn't occasional pot-smoking mandatory? I always heard it was mandatory, like you would with a mean breed of dog?

    August 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  4. biologixco

    Why doesn't anyone ask WHY they do the drugs>!
    The artificial world society has created is un natural.
    The stress great, the rewards few.
    And with JOHN BOEHNER wrecking their future, its a wonder they dont ALL do drugs>!

    August 23, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • yep

      Exactly. School today is not about the students. It's about test taking to get funding and has nothing to do with teaching kids the skills they need to live a happy life. It's about creating obedient worker drones. There is little value in today's schools.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Paul

      I came from one of the best, most well-off public schools in the nation and it was not like you describe at all. Most of my class is quickly now becoming highly successful. We did tons of drugs too.

      August 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  5. biologixco

    Take away their weed and booze and let them SNIFF GLUE~!

    August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  6. Yorgie

    Who cares. Kids are always going to be curious about things they are told not to do. When they do finally try them and find out how awesome they are.... they're going to want to do it all the time – especially when school is so f'n boring.

    Old news. I wonder what the percentage of adults that drink, use drugs, smoke (why they include that- I have no idea), etc. at WORK?

    August 23, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  7. Bobby G.

    "Survey: 17% of high schoolers "ADMIT TO" drink, smoke, use drugs during school day."

    August 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  8. Ann

    Really, a WHOLE 1,000 kids called on the phone and asked these questions. Now there is a reliable source. Where? How many schools, geographical areas, etc were respresented in this survey? We all knew a kid in school you could buy pot from 25 years ago, what is supposed to have changed here?. Pay attention to your kids, their lives and their friends... that's the way to keep them off drugs.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  9. Wayne

    Shoot, this isn’t news. I can remember guys going around the corner during shop class to get high. And this was 20+ years ago. What’s really sad was that the teacher knew what they were doing and just let them be because they were lost causes anyway.

    Kids are going to experiment and do things they’re told not to do. That’s just how it’s always been and always will be.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  10. fadeeed

    i was high erryday all day in HIGHschool lolz

    August 23, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • KJ

      I can tell by the way you write.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Chris


      August 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • wow

      umm i can tell

      August 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  11. creative36

    I never liked being high at school or work. I didn't enjoy it. It made the day slow. I rather enjoy cannabis in the comfort of my own home.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • rh

      Too bad there aren't more folks like you. If I can't have s3x in front of your kids in public, I don't want you smoking a joint in front of mine, or smoking tobacco for that matter.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • fu

        Woa! Watching two people get it on is way more harmful to a youngin' than watching someone smoke a cigarette. I don't even know what else to say to you about that, you need to get your priorities straight.

        August 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Gregory P

      Agree with you. Do it at home, Show some respect.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  12. jayc123

    I think a lot of people missed the point here. This article says that 17% of high schoolers drink, smoke, or use drugs DURING the school day. Thats pretty disturbing in my mind. I would think that it is probably closer to 70% of high school kids do these things outside of school which is how it has been since the 70s so nothing really new there.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  13. Davie Dice

    Only users lose drugs.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • fadeeed

      that is awesome. stealing that.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  14. aahugg

    Maybe it's about time you guys hear an insider's opinion. I am almost nineteen and am starting my senior year of high school soon. I no longer live in the United States, but I know that things are very similar where I am (France). Since 9th grade have I been surrounded by drugs and drinking (cigarettes too, but, I'm in Europe so that's no surprise...). I'll admit, I've experimented with drugs (No hard ones, though) and booze. And in my case, I've found that once you get it out of your system, you're done. I now drink responsibly and legally, also rarely. It's been the same for many people that I know.
    This is just my opinion, but I think that the reason many minors try so hard to drink and smoke and etc – is simply because they are not allowed. Here, the drinking age is 18, and until I turned 18, it was so exciting to drink. Now I could care less. I do find it rather silly that in the United States, you are able to go off and die for your country at a young age but you're not allowed to enjoy a cold beer. I know there's the whole driving at 16 issue... but hey.
    I think this is an issue that isn't really going to disappear. I know people that come into class high every day. Kids just don't care. The teenage years are so confusing and boy do kids get angsty so doing what is not allowed/wrong is appealing. I mean seriously, what can be done? It's not like parents can watch their kids 24/7. My mom knew I did bad things, and I'd get in trouble, but then I'd just lie and sneak around. It's just that stupid, STUPID age.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  15. bergus

    OH NO! this means, they're exactly like the kids from the '90's, and the '80's, and the '70's... nothing has changed. if anything, kids these days aren't allowed to have half of the fun that we used to enjoy. and how bad did we turn out? oh yeah, we're the ones responsible for turning the system into an intolerable bunch of BS regulations. SAVE THE KIDS, SOMEONE'S GOTTA FIX THIS SYSTEM!

    August 23, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • rh

      You can't fix the system, because the problem is parents who think they know it all. The parents with a lot of money but no time to spend on their kids. The parents working two jobs and not seeing their kids, and arguing that they were helping support their families at that age.

      If public use of marijuana was banned, I would be for legalizing it, if also they made it clear that performing certain key jobs under the influence would be illegal and result in serious punishment or loss of license, including but not limited to police, firemen, teachers, and doctors.

      Consumption of alcohol by minors outside of their home should be illegal, and intoxication of minors should be illegal. A single drink with dinner at one's home is part of some family's traditions (look at European drinking ages).

      August 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  16. Skeptic

    Surveys can be very poor predictors of actual behavior. Some questions to help students to have a healthy skepticism of news: are the figures to be trusted and how well written is the article? First, the survey did not prove that 17% of all US high school kids use drugs during the school day, only that 170 of the 1000 people surveyed SAY they do. For various reasons, people (perhaps more frequently from this age range) might SAY they do something when they actually do another. Where do the 1000 students live? The article doesn’t say – perhaps they all live in an area with a historical problem (over reported use?) or all in rural areas (under reported use?). Do they even live in the US? Why not try for 1 million+ surveyed through Facebook? Would this be more accurate? Are the people really 12 to 17 or did they just say they were? Do 860 of those surveyed really know each of 2.8 million abusers (that’s how it is written). And on…. Shame really, a better, larger survey (or actual observation) with better writing of the results could be helpful.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  17. Angelo V

    Think about this, what are kids going to gain if they were absolutely prohibitted from drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana? How can you say that these things are a negative factor in the individuals quality of life? Clearly getting drunk and high is a factor in disrupting learning, but why is this such an epidemic? If a student so chooses that they're not going to learn, it's not the alcohol and drugs that make them choose it, it's the fact that they don't want to take advantage of our education system. That's their choice; you can never stop someone from freely choosing their own fate, and I don't think we should. If someone wants to use drugs and alcohol to have fun, let them do it.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  18. Scudmaster

    This sounds dreadful, but it's actually a vast improvement. When I was in High School, about 60% smoked pot, and at least an equal number drank alcohol regularly. Our kids really are smarter than we were! 🙂

    August 23, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  19. OkayMan

    He ll, I am an adult with two college degrees and I have drugged and drank at the job. People can be stupid sometimes, especially myself.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  20. Steve

    Let them, the world needs burger flippers...

    August 23, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Credie

      Why do you think the republicans want to make abortion illegal? Create a new lower class in America, kick out the mexicans.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:45 am |
      • rftech333

        what the heck are you talking about? your comment has nothing to do with the article, idiot

        August 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  21. garwin1

    The article should say that 17% ADMITTED to drug and/or alcohol use.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Larry

      And thats the key 17% admitted it.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  22. kooolguy

    who cares? it's human nature to try drugs. as long as you can be responsible and still do well in school then good for you! look at steve jobs

    August 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • rICOSHEY


      August 23, 2012 at 12:01 am |
      • kooolguy

        first off no need for CAPS lock because it did not drive home your point (which was?) and also you can't spell or write grammatically correct in the first place. you sound like an illiterate. your point is pointless because here is how it breaks down; there will be successful drug users and there will be unsuccessful loser drug abusers, there will also be successful people who don't do drugs and unsuccessful losers who don't do drugs. as you can see from my point drugs are not the problem it is the individual; are they smart and passionate? or bums? so there very well can be a person who USES not abuses drugs and is successful such as steve jobs, pres obama, michael phelps, montel williams, mayor bloomberg, stephen king, arnold schwarzenegger, ted turner, etc the list goes on and on. and there are those that aren't successful and type in CAPS lock like and uneducated fool.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:03 am |
      • @kooolguy

        Sorry, but it doesn't help to tell someone about their typing issues when you yourself have them.
        What does matter if a point was shown, which you and your friend don't seem to have.

        Try harder next time.

        August 23, 2012 at 7:41 am |
      • kooolguy

        @ @kooolguy
        i'm pretty sure I typed grammatically correct except for my lack of capitalization. you however screwed up your english pretty bad. I also made a very clear point; that drugs don't determine your future. why don't you try harder at not being a complete m0r0n next time.

        August 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  23. matt

    what is this guy talking about. social media has nothing to do with why i smoked weed and cigs during school. (graduated in 2007 nnj) where on earth are they getting their facts from. Its our parents faults for not beating us hard enough and our schools fault for not being fun enough.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  24. froodley

    The problem with these studies is they treat pot as a drug and then use phrases like 'substance abuse' and 'worrying statistics.' It makes normal people chuckle and wonder what else the Flanders clan has wrong. That's right: Flanders is the _real_ gateway drug. Hard drugs are looked down on and skipped by most kids in progressive towns where this is all old news.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Joe D.

      Wow a survey of 1000 kids. What were the demographics of the sample? This is just a "get some coverage" story. Take the same sample of kids in a different area and of different backgrounds and you will get different results, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Purely trash article.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • thatguy

      Soooo you approve 12-17 year olds smoking pot while their bodies are still growing...missed the article COMPLETELY

      August 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • froodley

        Actually, i think kids should realize they're getting a free, valuable education (and room and board and so on) and keep their party to the weekend

        August 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • froodley

        Also, it contains dozens, as it is a whole plant on God & Godette's good green earth, much as is a tomato plant or an oak tree. ?

        August 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • KS

      Perhaps because pot is a drug? Or more appropriately, contains one while also having a delivery system that destroys the body.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • froodley

        Caffeine is a drug. White sugar is a drug. In large doses over a long period of time, blah blah hypertension blah blah you're lying.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • froodley

      Oh, me gol, sounds soooooper serious. No offense, but uh, like, grow up.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  25. The Pope

    Survey: 50% of workers drink, smoke, use drugs during work day

    August 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  26. Hadenuffyet

    Huh huh...DUDE!

    August 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  27. mac101

    Sorry, but this is not news, this has been going on in most high schools since the '70's. 17% too low, I'm guessing it's closer to 33%.

    Parents – if you don't want your teens to abuse alcohol and drugs, take a hard look at your own habits – the vast majority of kids who abuse have parents who abuse.

    August 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  28. notasido

    When I was in High School in the late 80's we used to party HARD!! Every Friday and Saturday night hundreds of kids from our school and neighboring schools would meet in a specific parking lot to find out where we were going to rage. Usually at a vacant field or construction sites. We were stupid and honestly we were lucky none of us got hurt. We would also get high during school and a couple times several of us dropped acid and attended other kids' classes. The teachers were either really stupid or they just didn't want to deal with us. But one thing is for sure, if someone would have brought pills from their parents' medicine cabinets or wanted to snort bath salts or huff inhalents, we would have thought they were crazy! As an adult with one child in college, one starting High School and one in elementary, you can bet your behind I talk to them about EVERYTHING that is out there and how everything they put in their bodies will affect them as they are growing not to mention things in the environment that they can't control affecting them. They know my past and that i am not prohibiting them from having fun, just aksing them to wait until they are mature enough to make the right decisions and be accountable for any mistakes they make and learn from them. I will also be the first to tell my kids and their friends that I don't care what time it is, I will pick you up if you are impaired or if the person your were driving with is. We can't smother them, just let them know ae are watching....

    August 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • max3333444555

      yeah, less pills and no bath salts but LSD was easy to get. much easier for a young person to get alcohol back then too. i remember getting liquor from the liquor store at 16 (theyd cash my paycheck if i bought stuff). carding for beer was uncommon.

      i think the 17% is low also.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  29. Legalizeitjahman

    Our war on education is finally paying off!

    August 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  30. L3J8

    The 1970s kids stayed high through their entire high school years. What are they taking now that makes kids learn less science and math? Kids it is okay to learn scienc math while buzzed out, you can still be cool and be a person of science and math. The U.S. needs you.

    August 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • dave

      I went to school in the '70's and even though it was a small rural midwestern school probably 80% of us were stoned every day. Most of us went to college and on to productive lives. I talked to an old teacher of mine, who knew what was going on, he said the difference for us, was that we were smart and interested in things, his students in later years were just stupid.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
      • bro

        if you think life in the U.S is productive today you missed out on a lot going to school

        August 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  31. Chris

    17% ? That's it? Based on my experience in high school I would think it would be easily triple that, that sounds really low. I think kids were lying during the survey

    August 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • mike

      I completely agree with with you. I would say the number is around 60-65 percent.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  32. hausinbodieaudersauder

    in school back in the seventies,we drank and smoked some weed,never over the many years later don't smoke anything and don't drink,statistics like these are worthless. beside drugs and drinking are glorified in all media.

    August 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  33. Meep

    Wow, looks like marijuana prohibition is really working well! But maybe we should jail more kids?

    August 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • ender

      i agree lol

      August 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  34. Johny Utah

    Obama, you are the President of the US, please stop are setting up a bad example for the kids....!!

    August 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  35. Johny Utah

    Dont blame obama for this drinking problems in high school since obama also drinks...! in fact, he has his own beer, home-brew...

    August 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Davie Dice

      That makes dude even cooler.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  36. matt

    Anyone that believes the 17% number either didn't go to high school or had absolutely zero friends.

    August 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • podd

      So what you are saying, is that because you did not drink and do drugs you did not have any friends. Well, Sir, I did not do either of those and I am still friends with a large number of people I went to high school with 13 years later. I would like to know when committing illegal act is what made you popular or even able to be friends with as you would have it.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • John

        Read carefully before you respond. He's saying that if you didn't KNOW that more than 17% of people were drinking or smoking, then you obviously didn't know that many people and therefore didn't have many friends. He said nothing about your own drinking or smoking habits.

        August 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • gmad

      @podd, think before you speak.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • Karen

        I don't understand why there is this attack on Podd for his/her comment – I too went to High School and had a lot of friends and had a great time and would have found it scandalous to learn that ANYONE I knew did drugs or drank. In fact, I was under the impression at the time (late 90s) that only "bad kids" did drugs or drink. I saw TWO girls smoking a CIGARETTE, ever. I went to a public school in a suburb in VA near Washington, D.C. so I'm not talking about a small town. I may have been oblivious because I grew up with the "Just Say No" mentality and was never offered drugs ever in high school, but I don't think it's outlandish for someone to be shocked that that many high school kids are on drugs/drinking at school nowadays. It's a shame, and it is unfortunately true. Still, I understand Podd's point of view here. You aren't a friendless loner/ someone who didn't go to high school if you weren't aware of the large amount of substance abuse.

        August 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • deeeem

      even in the 70's it was 17% so I think this number is way off

      August 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  37. philosophy2learn

    I can say as a freshman in college that I did know people who lived a life style mentioned in the article, but I REALLY don't think religion had anything to do with weather or not someone is going to do drugs. Most of the people I knew who went to parties and got all "effed up" were Christians or Mormons. I think the answer should be stricter enforcement and control of illegal substances on campuses. I definitely saw an increase of drugs on mine through out the years. I also believe that a mandatory class in peer pressure might do some good. Some of those kids doing drugs didn't really want to, like said in the article, they were peer pressured. Then again, some of them really like the attention.
    So much to do, yet so little time.

    August 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • claybigsby

      " I also believe that a mandatory class in peer pressure might do some good. Some of those kids doing drugs didn't really want to, like said in the article, they were peer pressured."

      Peer Pressure is an excuse people give when they dont want to take responsibility for their own actions.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  38. Johny Utah

    So what do you expect? even obama the commander in chief also drinks...! in fact, he has his own beer, home-brew!!..

    August 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • philosophy2learn

      Yes, but he is over 21 and a big boy. We are talking about 12-17 yo

      August 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
      • Johny Utah

        That is not good for being an idol for the kids...!! you are talking the President of the country and kids look up to him.

        August 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • philosophy2learn

        he is an excellent remodel, teaching to drink responsibly AND handling America like a boss

        August 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • JUtah is a moron

      Then that explains why kids are more dumber now days too, they were following "Dubyas" example.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • billy jo

      Yeah and the previous President was a pot head in College and allegedly did Cocaine

      August 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  39. Mandor

    This is sad, but not entirely unexpected.

    Still, I suppose someone needs to be trapped into the low-wage low-skill jobs that these "job creators" I hear so much about say they'll create. *sigh*. OK, that's a bit heartless and cold. I'd probably see it differentlly if I had kids in high school. But cmon during or doing drugs DURING THE SCHOOL DAY? they've basically decided they don't WANT to learn. They may not truly be a lost cause, but they're only inches away from it.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • John

      Once again, HIGH SCHOOL IS A JOKE.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  40. jimmyinyCrickets

    17% sounds a little low to me. Unless you're talking about elementary school.
    PS to the author – alcohol and drugs are not two different things. Alcohol IS a drug.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • jayc123

      ya so is caffiene..

      August 23, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  41. Pops

    Sounds like things are improving from when I was in high school in the late 60's. Kids will experiment – that doesn't make them drug addicts or bad kids. Parents need to be truthful with their children to help prevent them from using the more harmful drugs (and keep that adult feel-good medicine secured). I believe that kids who are happy and given the opportunity to enjoy life are less likely to find enjoyment in "heavy" drug use.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Mandor

      I don't know about that. I new people who drank and smoked on weekends sure. There were times I drank at high school parties as well, way back when. But drinking *during the school day*? Smoking a joint *during the school day*?

      No way they're going to do good in school if they under the influence DURING class. And they'll be feeling the socio-economic impact of that choice from the rest of their lives.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • John

        I was drunk and/or high most of the week during high school, and I am now in a PhD program. High school is a joke, everyone knows that. 90% of your classes are useless, so why not have some fun in the meantime?

        August 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • max3333444555

        same comment. smoked every day in HS. i always tested well and never had a negative impact on my future life.

        August 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Sanity

      John I don't think you are any PhD. Drug addicts are loosers, some may be able to get out most will sink then blame the president for their failure.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • MarcW

        Sanity, if you only knew how many "successful"people do drugs, you would faint. I'm not going to go into details, but I know several hundred "successful" people (real estate moguls, Fortune 100 Business men, etc) that have done drugs most, if not all of their careers. If I told you their names, you would know them also. Mostly Cannabis, alcohol, and Cocaine, but there is LSD, Heroin users too. I KNOW these people do those drugs on a regular basis, as I am and was part of their group. I was the guy who could get it for them.

        August 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  42. justastatistic

    Not surprising at all, common sense would assume this to be predictable.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  43. John Tucker

    Teachers are afraid to even address it – people refuse to parent. Its dragging everyone's kids down.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  44. Amanda

    War on drugs is a joke. and are society is a fail... we need to go back to a day when govt did not control our lives but let us live... yes children should not do those activities but if past has shown us anything we do do it and will always... Life lesson...

    August 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  45. Cherries

    They do it at school because they'd get their hind ends kicked if they were caught at home!

    August 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  46. Kelly51

    Back in the 70's we would have a couple of drinks before school and then someone always had a joint on hand for lunch time (we didn't eat lunch, it wan't cool) and everyone smoked except for the prep's. So that 70's show. On Fridays we would all pitch in our lunch money and buy gasoline and cruise around Va Beach. Best times of my life! Then I grew up and all the rules changed. Honestly I think our percentages were much higher (no pun intended) back in the 70's and most likely the 80's as well.

    August 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • tacc2

      I don't know, we sure did a lot of drugs in the 90s.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Anthony A

      Of course the actual percentage is higher.... When asked about drug use a lot of kids are not going to answer truthfully. There is a very good reason, because drugs are illegal and kids are scared to get in trouble. The 'good ol days' are still going on lol

      August 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • JOH

      Just another propaganda or scare tactics to rally support to the DEA and the drug war. What a joke. 17% is wrong first of all. And there are plenty of kids who experiment with dangerous drugs and come out fine. Alcohol is the most dangerous drug though just because of the fact that everyone thinks it's OK.

      I can't compare to the 70s but I was born in 1990 and I've smoked weed for a LONG time. I'm still not as spoiled or apathetic as most of my peers. I do not binge on exstacy like some of my peers. I just smoke weed and drink occassionally. I work and go to class for the most part. And I am among the "deviants" or "degenerates" that smoke the reefer. While my straight edge peers just sit at the mall and do nothing productive except get into fights and impregnate a minor.

      August 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  47. Fronc

    Wow! 17%!! That's all! I felt like it was 50/50 back when I was in HS in 1998. Man, those were some good times!!! A whole day on ACID was great! But we all have to grow up eventually. Mine as well have fun before you really have to be responsible.

    August 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • nojusticed

      Totally, I graduated in 96 and the percentages were much higher. We all did well in school and went on to good careers, at least within the circle i hung out in, and will still drop acid and smoke some refer on occasion. I will never forget going to six flags tripping hard with a group of friends with my junior high class, good memories.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
      • yep

        Obama thanks both you boys for your vote. Carry on!

        August 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  48. Not A Real Doctor

    Child's play compared to the 60's.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  49. Liz

    Bastion of democratic liberalism. The public schools cater to unions, and unions are in it for the buck. Americans have sold out their children to the teachers unions. This is the result. Let the parents have vouchers, the democrats say no, because of the unions. I blame the parents for backing the teachers unions.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Art

      The unions are behind this? This just goes to show you what a dolt you are. Teachers are the ones that have to deal with this nonsense. They definitely are against drugs in teh school, duh! It's the courts that have ruled that students have's the parents who proclaim that, "My child wouldn't do that. Take your accusations back or I'll report you."... Tell us, exactly how this is the union's fault?

      August 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • mehpisces

      Spoken like a true, uniformed person-–what have you been smoking to come up with that analogy?

      August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • billymad

      what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
      • Wow..

        Yeah I concur. I started reading that comment and busted out laughing, then i scrolled down to yours and laughed harder. Oh and I am in school for physics degree, so I'm fairly positive that the evil grass has had no negative effects on my intelligence. High school is a joke. I slept through almost my entire junior and senior years (except math, science, and English), barely scraped by with passing grades from acing tests, and rarely did homework. Now that I am in college my gpa is 4.0. So yeah, any kid with half a brain is going to ignore most of what is being taught in school. Might as well have fun if you are going to be stuck there. Now, I do agree that the schools seem to be turning out progressively more burger flippers, but is this caused by drug use in school, or are drug use in school and a crap future both products of another cause? Hmm, gets one to thinking.

        September 1, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • Scott B

      The problem is the parents relying on the government to raise their kids.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  50. mona

    this is the American deformed culture.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  51. Sussay

    Our future...

    August 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  52. momma

    And you don't think has anything to do with our current culture of 'have a problem – take a pill!'. It is shoved down our throats by big pharma everywhere we look. Maybe the shift in kids drug use is due to thinking everything is fixable with a pill, or a drink, or a smoke.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  53. Swearengen

    Wait until college, university. Then the statistic shoots up to 95-100%. This article is mis-leading however because it fails to mention prescription drugs, which is a much larger epidemic problem than so-called "illegal drugs"

    August 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  54. Jorge

    Hey, kids are smarter thank you think. Perhaps they intuitively know that they've been sold up the river by us and are facing a bleak future. Perhaps, taking a good, hard look at life today, you don't have to be all that intuitive to understand that. My 14 year-old has a 3.85 GPA, and she says that school makes her feel dead inside. Listening to all the incompetent, irrelevant sociopolitical inanity that her teachers bring with them into the classroom at her Georgia school (at the expense of relevant skills), I'm not surprised.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  55. 2/8

    What do you's America. And that's the LEAST of their concerns.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  56. slaw5429

    To understand this, let's get into the reasons why these kids start doing drugs in the first place. My theory is that kids, at some point in their lives, come to the conclusion that it is "acceptable" or "normal". They could come to this conclusion in several different ways:
    1) Have parents / relatives that are known to do drugs
    2) Have friends that do drugs
    3) Hear about friends of friends doing drugs

    Today, I think a lot of these conclusions are being shaped by Social Media (most notably Twitter). I've seen first-hand what kids these days are talking about on twitter and about one in every two or three tweets are about drug or alcohol use. Parents...please be aware of what your kids are doing on social media'll be surprised about what you'll learn about your child and their friends.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • tacc2

      You're missing the point of using drugs. THEY'RE FUN. THAT'S WHY PEOPLE USE THEM. Maybe if parents, teachers, and the government stopped lying to everyone about some drugs (cannabis, natural hallucinogens, etc. ) children would take warnings more seriously. I remember being a kid and hearing about all the horrors of that evil weed marijuana. Then I met marijuana users. They were perfectly normal people who seemed to be having a lot of fun getting high and not hurting anyone. STOP LYING!

      August 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
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