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TEXAS SCHOOL SURVEY OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

SPRINGTOWN ISD

SECONDARY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OVERVIEW

In the Spring of 1996, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, in conjunction with
the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, administered a survey to students
in grade 9 in the Springtown Independent School District (SISD). A total of 171 students
completed the questionnaire, which asked about students' experiences with alcohol and drugs.
Of that number, 14 surveys were excluded from analysis because students did not indicate their
grade or age, or because they were identified as exaggerators (i.e., claimed to have used a
non-existent drug or reported overly excessive drug use). The final number of surveys included
in the overall district analysis was 157.1

Students' responses to the questionnaire indicate that:

• Sixty-four percent of Springtown ISD students reported using tobacco at least once
during their lifetimes, and 36 percent said they had used tobacco during the past
month.

• Eleven percent of Springtown ISD students said they smoke cigarettes on a daily
basis, while 7 percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily
basis.

• Sixty-seven percent of Springtown ISD students said they had used alcohol at least
once during their lifetimes, and 33 percent reported using alcohol during the past
month.

• Nine percent of Springtown ISD students said they had driven a car at least once
during the past year after having "a good bit to drink."

• Lifetime use of inhalants was reported by 21 percent of Springtown ISD students,


while past-month inhalant use was reported by 4 percent.

• Twenty-five percent of Springtown ISD students reported using marijuana at least


once during their lifetimes, and 16 percent said they had used marijuana during
the past month.

1
The percentages referred to in the executive summary were taken from the tables found in "Part I: District
Survey Results." Due to the differences in rounding procedures, there may be slight discrepancies between the
percentages referred to in the tables and those reflected in the executive summary.

1
• Springtown ISD students are most likely to turn to friends for help with a drug or
alcohol problem (86 percent) and least likely to consult a counselor or program in
school (28 percent).

Tobacco

Over the last two years, the general use of tobacco (including cigarettes and smokeless products)
among 9th grade students statewide has stayed about the same.2 Overall, the general use of
tobacco products among Springtown ISD 9th graders, especially with regard to the smokeless
variety, is somewhat higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide.

Sixty-four percent of Springtown students reported general tobacco use at least once during their
lifetimes (58 percent statewide). Thirty-six percent of Springtown ISD students said they had
used a tobacco product during the past month, compared to 28 percent of 9th graders statewide.

Fifty-nine percent of Springtown students reported smoking cigarettes at least once during their
lifetimes (56 percent statewide), while 29 percent said they had smoked cigarettes during the past
month (26 percent statewide), and 11 percent reported smoking cigarettes on a daily basis (9
percent statewide). Twenty-six percent of district students said most or all of their close friends
smoke cigarettes.3

Lifetime use of smokeless tobacco products was reported by 31 percent of SISD students (16
percent statewide), while 18 percent said they had used a smokeless tobacco product during the
past month (5 percent statewide), and 7 percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a
daily basis (1 percent statewide), rates higher than those reported by their counterparts statewide.
Ten percent of district students said most or all of their close friends use smokeless tobacco.

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most widely used substance among students statewide and in the Springtown ISD.
Alcohol use among 9th grade students statewide was similar to that reported two years ago.
Overall, Springtown ISD 9th graders are drinking alcohol at rates somewhat similar to those
reported by their peers statewide.

Sixty-seven percent of Springtown students reported consuming alcohol at least once during
their lifetimes, compared to 76 percent of 9th graders statewide. Thirty-three percent of

2
Statewide data is collected every other year. The statewide data used for comparison purposes in the district
report and executive summary is taken from the results of the survey administered in the Spring of 1996.

3
Because a non-standard grade combination was surveyed in this district, some statewide data are unavailable
for comparisons throughout this summary.

2
Springtown ISD students said they had consumed alcohol during the past month (38 percent
statewide).

The alcoholic beverages most often consumed by Springtown students are beer (61 percent/58
percent statewide) and wine coolers (63 percent/60 percent statewide). Thirty-three percent of
SISD students said they drink beer on a weekly or monthly basis (34 percent statewide), and 33
percent said they drink wine coolers weekly or monthly (33 percent statewide).

"Binge drinking" is the consumption of five or more beers, wine coolers, servings of wine, or
drinks with liquor at one time. Thirty-seven percent of Springtown ISD students reported "binge
drinking" beer at least once during their lifetimes (39 percent statewide), while 23 percent said
they usually drink five or more beers at a time on average when they drink (19 percent
statewide). Lifetime "binge drinking" of wine coolers was reported by 40 percent of SISD
students (42 percent statewide), while 22 percent said they usually drink five or more wine
coolers at a time on average when they drink (20 percent statewide).

Nine percent of Springtown students reported attending at least one class during the past school
year while "drunk" (10 percent statewide). Nine percent of SISD students said that they had
driven a car after having "a good bit to drink" at least once during the past year (8 percent
statewide). Driving while intoxicated four or more times during the past year was reported by 3
percent of district students (2 percent statewide).

Students were asked about the availability of alcohol, its use among friends, and its use at parties.
Seventy-nine percent of Springtown ISD students said beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor were
somewhat easy or very easy to obtain (78 percent statewide). Thirty-three percent of district
students reported most or all of their close friends drink alcohol (39 percent statewide), and 41
percent responded "from friends" when asked where they obtained alcohol most of the time or
always. "Difficulties of any kind" with friends because of one's own drinking was reported by 9
percent of SISD students (10 percent statewide).

Thirty-five percent of Springtown students said alcohol was used at most or all of the parties they
attended in the past school year (37 percent statewide). Forty-five percent of district students
responded "at parties" when asked where they obtain alcohol most of the time or always, while 9
percent of SISD students said they get alcohol "from the store" most of the time or always.

Students were asked how many days during the school year they were absent from class due to
an illness or for some other reason, and how many days they had gotten into trouble because of
conduct or attitude problems. Fewer SISD students who had not been absent since the Fall
reported having used alcohol during the past month (26 percent) than did district students who
said they had missed four or more days of school (40 percent). Sixty-eight percent of the
Springtown students who had experienced difficulties with school officials on four or more days
reported using alcohol during the past 30 days. By contrast, only 20 percent of district students
who had not experienced difficulties with school officials because of conduct problems had used
alcohol within the past 30 days.

3
Parental attitudes can be a major factor in whether or not a student uses alcohol or drugs. When
asked how their parents feel about kids their age drinking beer, 75 percent of Springtown
students said their parents strongly or mildly disapprove (76 percent statewide). Nine percent of
district students said they "don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age drinking beer
(10 percent statewide), and 9 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (10
percent statewide).

Inhalants4

In general, inhalants are common, licit substances (paints, thinners, correction fluid, glue, etc.)
which, when sniffed, huffed, or inhaled, produce an intoxicating effect. Over the last two years,
use of inhalants among 9th grade students statewide stayed about the same. Overall, Springtown
ISD 9th graders are using inhalants at rates similar to those reported by their counterparts
statewide.

Twenty-one percent of Springtown students reported using inhalants at least once during their
lifetimes (21 percent statewide). Four percent of Springtown ISD students said they had used
inhalants during the past month (5 percent statewide).

Four percent of SISD students reported most or all of their close friends use inhalants (3 percent
statewide), and 7 percent said they had attended at least one class during the past school year
while "high" on inhalants (4 percent statewide). Thirteen percent of SISD students said they had
used two or more different kinds of inhalant substances during their lifetimes (13 percent
statewide).

Twelve percent of Springtown ISD students reported inhaling substances in the "other inhalants"
category (9 percent statewide), 9 percent said they had inhaled correction fluid/Liquid Paper (10
percent statewide), 8 percent reported inhaling gasoline (6 percent statewide), 8 percent said they
had inhaled liquid/spray paint (8 percent statewide), 7 percent said they had inhaled glue (5
percent statewide), and 7 percent said they had inhaled paint thinner (6 percent statewide) at least
once during their lifetimes.

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are defined as controlled substances and include marijuana, cocaine (powdered form
and crack), uppers (stimulants), downers (narcotics), hallucinogens, and ecstasy. Over the last
two years, the use of illicit drugs among 9th grade students statewide has increased. The use of
marijuana, the most frequently used illicit substance, has also increased among 9th graders
statewide over the last two years.

4
Lifetime and current inhalant use figures have been adjusted to reflect reported use of both specific inhalants
and inhalant use generally. Some students responded positive to specific use without responding positive to
generic use. Some students responded positive to generic use but not specific inhalants.

4
In the Springtown ISD, 29 percent of students reported use of illicit drugs at least once during
their lifetimes (37 percent statewide), while 21 percent of SISD students said they had used one
or more illicit substances three or more times (28 percent statewide), rates somewhat lower than
those reported by 9th grade students statewide. Statewide, students who said they had used
illicit drugs reported using them an average of 2.7 times in the past 30 days and 7.1 times during
their lives. Springtown students reported average usage rates of 2.0 times in the past month and
5.6 times during their lifetimes.

Twenty-five percent of SISD students reported using marijuana at least once in their lifetimes, a
rate lower than that reported by their counterparts statewide (35 percent). Past-month marijuana
use was reported by 16 percent of Springtown ISD students (19 percent statewide).

Ten percent of SISD students reported attending at least one class in the past year while "stoned"
on marijuana (16 percent statewide). Driving under the influence of drugs at least once during
the past year was reported by 5 percent of Springtown ISD students (7 percent statewide).

Fifty-two percent of SISD students said marijuana was somewhat or very easy to obtain (57
percent statewide), and 18 percent reported most or all of their close friends use marijuana (26
percent statewide). Five percent of district students said they had gotten into "difficulties of any
kind" with their friends because of their own drug use (8 percent statewide). Nineteen percent of
the Springtown ISD students said that marijuana and/or other drugs were used at most or all of
the parties they attended during the school year (25 percent statewide).

When asked about parental attitudes toward marijuana use, Springtown students reported a
disapproval rate of 88 percent (84 percent statewide). Six percent of district students said they
"don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age using marijuana (9 percent statewide),
while 2 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (5 percent statewide).

Other illicit substances are used by a small number of Springtown ISD students. Nine percent of
SISD students reported using uppers (8 percent statewide), 8 percent said they had used
hallucinogens (8 percent statewide), 7 percent said they had used powdered cocaine (8 percent
statewide), 7 percent reported using ecstasy (6 percent statewide), and 5 percent reported using
downers (6 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes.

CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG USE

Statewide, female students were somewhat less likely to have used drugs than were male
students. In the Springtown ISD, however, female students were somewhat more likely to have
used ecstasy, nearly twice as likely to have used powdered cocaine or uppers, and over two times
more likely to have used inhalants than were district male students. In addition, SISD female
students were the only reported users of steroids in the district. There were no other significant
differences by gender among Springtown ISD students with regard to the use of tobacco
products, alcohol, marijuana, or other illicit substances.

5
In the statewide survey, students living in two-parent homes reported lower drug use than did
students living in other family situations. SISD students living in other family situations were
somewhat more likely to have consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana, or used hallucinogens,
nearly twice as likely to have used inhalants, and over two times more likely to have used uppers
or downers than were those district students living in homes with two parents. On the other
hand, SISD students living in two-parent homes were somewhat more likely to have used
powdered cocaine than were their counterparts in the district living in other family situations.
There were no other significant differences by living arrangement among Springtown ISD
students with regard to the use of tobacco products, alcohol, or other illegal drugs.

When asked where they would go for help with a drug or alcohol problem, the largest percentage
of Springtown students said they would seek help from their friends (86 percent/74 percent
statewide). Sixty-one percent of SISD students said they would seek help from an adult friend or
relative (58 percent statewide), and 54 percent said they would turn to their parents (52 percent
statewide). District students are least likely to seek help from a counselor or program in school
(28 percent/34 percent statewide). Since school began in the Fall, 7 percent of Springtown
students reported seeking help for any problems connected with alcohol or drug use from
someone other than family or friends (8 percent statewide).

Forty-four percent of Springtown ISD students said they had gotten information about drugs and
alcohol from a school source since classes began in the Fall, a rate considerably lower than that
reported by their counterparts statewide (78 percent). Fourteen percent of SISD students
reported getting information about drugs and alcohol from a "health class" (56 percent
statewide), while 12 percent said "an assembly program" was a source for this information (42
percent statewide), and 11 percent said "an invited school guest" was a source for information
about drugs and alcohol (36 percent statewide), rates lower than those reported by 9th graders
statewide.

The influence of drug education programs may be reflected in students' attitudes toward the use
of specific substances. Eighty-eight percent of Springtown students believe that crack use is
"very dangerous" (87 percent statewide), and 87 percent believe that powdered cocaine use is
"very dangerous" (85 percent statewide). Eighty-four percent of SISD students believe that
inhalant use is "very dangerous" (73 percent statewide), and 68 percent believe that marijuana
use is "very dangerous" (56 percent statewide), rates higher than those reported by their peers
statewide. By contrast, the perceived danger of alcohol and tobacco use is lower. Forty-six
percent of SISD students feel that it is "very dangerous" to use alcohol (41 percent statewide).
Only 30 percent of Springtown ISD students believe that tobacco use is "very dangerous," a rate
somewhat lower than that reported by 9th grade students statewide (37 percent).