Adolescents in middle school (Drugs and alcohol statistics)

Experimentation is a often a part of a middle schooler’s life in today’s society. Let’s take a look at 2007 drug and alcohol statistics from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties:

–Children start drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes earlier than they use other substances.
–Some students report use as early as the fifth grade (1.6% reported having drunk a full glass of alcohol, and 1.1% reported having smoked acigarette in the past month.)
–In the 11th grade, 41% of students reported having consumed alcohol in the previous month, 21% reported having smoked marijuana and 18% reported having smoked cigarettes.
–These percentages are all higher than comparable percentages for11th graders in California.
–In addition, 16% of seventh graders, 30% of ninth graders and 36% of 11th graders reported that they had been offered an illegal drugat school in the previous year.
–Asian/Pacific Islanders appeared less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs than children and teens of other ethnic/racial groups.

Other issues that occur during the middle school years:

•Sexuality
–During the teen years, the hormones that cause the sex organs to grow and function also cause strong sexual feelings.
•Body Weight/Eating Disorders
•Independence/individuality/social roles
–Bullying, etc.

On Friday, we’ll talk about how to discuss difficult topics with your teenager.

Commentary by ACS Executive Director, Dr. Philippe Rey

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