Survey shows declines in substance abuse among Duval County students

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 2012 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey shows declines in substance abuse among Duval County students.

Statewide, 70,859 middle and high school students participated in the survey, and 2,221 Duval County students were surveyed.

Alcohol and marijuana remain the most used substances for both middle and high school youth in
Duval County, according to the survey. In 2010, 48.6 percent of students reported lifetime use of alcohol and 25.6 percent reported lifetime use of marijuana. Those numbers declined in 2012 to 45.6 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Current marijuana use by Duval County students has also declined from 14 percent in 2010 to 11.5 percent in 2012, according to the survey. This puts Duval County below the statewide average of 12.4 percent.

The survey also shows significant declines in prescription drug use. The current non-medical use of prescription pain relievers for Duval County students declined from 7.3 percent in 2010 to 6.7 percent in 2012.

There were 68.6 percent of students surveyed statewide who perceived a great risk of harm associated with the use of prescription drugs without a doctor's order.

"We are very encouraged by these statistics as evidence that the positive efforts in our local communities are making a healthy impact on students in Duval County," said Susan Pitman, executive director of Safe and Healthy Duval Coalition. "We are enthusiastic as we move into 2013 and remain committed to continuously improving resources, policies and prevention programs for students and their families in Duval County."

The Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey is a collaborative effort between the Florida departments of Health, Education, Children and Families, Juvenile Justice, and the Governor's Office of Drug Control. It is based on the "Communities That Care" survey, assessing risk and protective factors for substance abuse, in addition to substance abuse prevalence.

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