The amount of Florida middle and high school students who have used drugs, cigarettes or alcohol continues to decline according to the latest survey by the State's Department of Children and Families. The findings represent a steady decline in substance abuse by teens in the state since 2002, with use of all drugs except for marijuana falling every since '02. Even the use of marijuana fell this year, though the survey found that once again white kids are getting high and drunk a lot more than other students.
Only 10 percent of students had tried a drug other than marijuana within 30 days of taking the survey. Twelve percent had used marijuana in that time.
Almost 50 percent said that they had used alcohol in their lifetime, and almost one in eight reported that they had binge drank in the past two weeks.
Interestingly, there's a deep divide in alcohol use among races. Nearly 51 percent of white and Hispanic/Latino students reported use of alcohol, while only 40 percent of African-American students did. Only 7.9 percent of African-American students reported binge drinking, while 15.5 and 15.6 percent of Hispanic/Latino and white students respectively did.
White students were also more likely to have smokes a cigarette or used marijuana. White students were four times more likely to have smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days than African-American students. White students also reported higher usage of synthetic marijuana, LSD, PCP or hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine or crack, depressants, prescription pain pills.
Latino students reported slightly higher rates of using inhalants, club drugs, and meth.
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Overall, 34 percent of white students said they had used any illicit drug in their lifetime compared to 31.3 percent of Latino students, and 28.0 percent of African-American students. 18.6 percent of White students had used in the past 30 days compared to 17.3 percent of Latino students and 16 percent of African-American students.
6.2 percent of White students reported selling drugs compared to 5.0 percent of African American students. Though 5.5 percent of African-American students said they had been arrested, compared to just 3.3 percent of white students.