You are on page 1of 64

Real

Talk
Ward 7
Qualitative & Quantitative Research
Addressing Youth Substance Involvement
In the District of Columbias Ward 7
Sponsored by:
The Ward 7 Safe and Drug Free
Communities Coalition (W7SDCC)
Facilitated by:
Bruce Purnell, Ph.D.
December 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary

Introduction

11

Overviews: The Research Studies


PRIDE, Inc. Survey
Real Talk Focus Groups

12

Real Talk Methodology

17

Real Talk Implementation

20

Conclusions

30

Recommendations

32

Addendum 1: PRIDE, Inc.


Risk and Protective Factor
Executive Summary: 2012-2013
Ward 7 Schools

34

Executive Summary
The Ward 7 Safe and Drug Free Communities Coalition (W7SDCC), formed in March 2011,
works to connect government and the Wards 29 neighborhoods to collaborate on the reduction
and prevention of youth substance abuse, by developing and implementing environmental
strategies and tactics to effect community change. The environmental strategies approach
recognizes that risks associated with substance use are, in part, a function of the relationship
between the environments frequented by an individual and the substances, both legal and
illegal, that an individual uses.
The Coalitions leadership posits that a measurably effective program of environmental change
and substantive, social reconstruction leading to a drug-free youth culture would be successful
by creating an environment::

That looks healthy and has a positive, drug-free mood

That has consistent opportunities for positive community involvement

That reinforces positive behaviors and positive skill development through education

That influences and reinforces positive bonds

The Coalition also recognizes that such ambitious undertakings must have a sound footing of
information and research that reaches beyond anecdotal information that many might consider
reliable, but that is unsubstantiated. Therefore, the Coalition determined to begin by conducting
a comprehensive, mixed-model study, including surveys and focus groups, designed to examine
the ever-changing, dynamic interaction between youth, parents, families, neighborhoods,
psychosocial strengths and weaknesses and the influencing factors that either promote or deter
youth substance use.
The W7SDCC launched Ward 7-centric research studies of attitudes and behaviors related to
substance use and abuse among Ward 7 youth and adults that are, we believe, the first such studies,
ever conducted in the Ward. These studies included (1) the nationally recognized PRIDE, Inc.
Risk and Protective Factor Survey and (2) a series of Real Talk focus group sessions with
Ward 7 youth and adults. Enlightening information harvested from both will lead the Coalitions
strategic and tactical forward motion.
The Coalition selected Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Parkside as a base site to gather
quantitative data, through a survey administered to a cross- section of Ward 7 youth in grades
6 to 12, related to substance use and related behaviors. The school was selected, because the
majority of its students reside in the Kenilworth, Parkside and Mayfair communities, chosen
to be the first site of impact for W7SDCC. Similarly, youth from seven Ward 7 public housing

Page 4 Real-Talk Ward 7

developments, including Parkside and surrounding neighborhoods, were recruited to provide


qualitative data though focus group discussions. The mixed-method approach drove our process,
meaning that a survey instrument and a series of focus groups both were to be used to attain the
broadest view of substance use and related behaviors possible. Whereas the survey was expected
to uncover the Who? What? When? Where? aspects of this study, the focus groups were
intended to yield the Why? and the How? Together, we believed, both studies would provide
a very comprehensive, real-time snapshot of how the most vulnerable communities in Ward 7
think, feel and act in regard to substance use and related behaviors.

The PRIDE survey was selected as the tool to provide quantitative information involving
risk and protective factors connected to substance use for the Kenilworth/Parkside area of
Ward 7. One of the reasons that W7SDCC selected the PRIDE survey for this examination
was that it provided a national norm as a reference point. This norm was the score of 50 and
whether a score was higher or lower indicated how far scores deviated from the national mean.
This would allow a comparison of the Cesar Chavez students in Ward 7 to the nations youth.

The data was organized by PRIDE Inc. according to Risk and Protective factors with
higher protective scores and lower risk scores being optimal and based on an average of 50.
The PRIDE surveys domains included information concerning the individual and peers,
parents, the school and the community. The survey allowed the Coalition to look at each of
these elements, gain key insights into drug use and related behaviors of survey participants
and compare the Ward 7 youth risk and protective factor scores with the national average.

W7SDCCs Real Talk focus groups were conducted to gain a qualitative interpretation
of how youth and parents in Ward 7 think, feel and act regarding substance use and related
behaviors. These focus groups also allowed us to address the questions why and how
that surveys could not answer. The focus groups also provided the opportunity to begin
exploring whether charter schools, or Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in particular,
were skewed distributions that may have had different characteristics than the community
where they were located. This would show up if the survey data yielded different results than
the focus groups. We would also be able to see a social desirability bias in the survey data, by
understanding community norms from the focus groups.

The Real Talk focus groups sought to enhance the PRIDE survey findings with a photo
album, of input harvested across multiple sessions to explain and, perhaps, predict substance
use and related behaviors in Ward 7s most vulnerable communities. The entire process was
intended to be in the context of the community; to extract its voices, rather than an edited
version of a mainstream interpretation.
This mixed-method approach allows us to compare the protective and risk domain areas to national
norms and also compare the protective and risk domain results to a group of community discussions.
Details and Findings: The PRIDE Survey

The PRIDE Inc. Risk and Protective Factor youth survey for grades 6-12 was designed to
identify the levels of risk and protective factors that predict problem behaviors, such as alcohol,
tobacco and other drug use, poor school achievement and delinquency. The survey measured a
variety of demographic characteristics. A higher percentage of the students surveyed were female
(48.5% female vs. 46.4% male). A majority of students identified themselves as African American
(84.2%), followed by Mixed Origin (6.1%), Latino (5.6%), Other (1.6%), Native American (0.5%)
and Asian (0.5%); none self-identified as White (0.0%).
In addition to measuring risk and protective factors, the PRIDE survey also measures the
actual prevalence of drug use, violence and other antisocial behaviors among surveyed students.
Administered to 186 Ward 7 middle and high school students, the survey results identified
specific risk and protective factors that the youth reported to be of most concern in their Ward
7 neighborhoods. This information will be used by the Coalition and should be of value to the
City as a whole to guide prevention efforts, to help address existing problems and to promote
healthy and positive youth development.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 5

Risk and Protective Factors

Just as eating a high-fat diet is a risk factor for heart disease and getting regular exercise is a
protective, health factor, there are behavioral characteristics for the community, school, family,
peer groups and individual youth that can help protect youth from, or put them at risk for, drug
use and other problematic actions.
Protective factors, also known as assets, are conditions that buffer children and youth from
exposure to risk, by either reducing the impact of the risk or changing the way that young
people respond to it.
Risk factors are conditions that increase the likelihood of a young person becoming involved
in drug use, delinquency, violence and/or dropping out of school. For example, children in
families with poor parental monitoring are more likely to become involved in these problem
behaviors. There is a substantial amount of research showing that adolescents exposure to a
greater number of risk factors is associated with more drug use and delinquency. There is
also evidence that exposure to a number of protective factors is associated with lower prevalence
of these problem behaviors. The analysis of risk and protective factors is a powerful tool for
understanding both positive and negative adolescent behavior and for helping design successful
prevention/intervention programs for young people.
Risk and Protective Factors Profiles

PRIDEs survey measures each of the risk and protective factor scores on a scale of 0 to 100; a
score of 50 is the normative average for this scale. A low score indicates the relative absence of
the risk or protective factor and a high score indicates an elevated level of that risk or protective
factor. Since risk factors are associated with an increased likelihood of alcohol and drug use
and other problem behaviors, lower scores on risk factors are desirable. Conversely, because
protective factors are associated with a decreased likelihood of problem behaviors, a higher score
on the protective factors is desirable.
For the overall sample, scale scores across five protective factors measured ranged from a low of
36 to a high of 66, with an average score of 52 (two points higher than the normative average of
50). The lowest protective factor score was interaction with prosocial peers (with a score of 36).
The highest protective factor score was school opportunities for prosocial involvement (score, 66).
The three highest risk factor scales measured were community disorganization (83), interaction
with antisocial peers (74) and low neighborhood attachment (59). The three lowest risk factor
scales were parental attitudes favorable toward drug use (16), favorable attitudes toward drug use
(24) and parental attitudes favorable toward antisocial behavior (25). It is known that prevention
programs and policies focused on reducing a broad spectrum of risk factors and increasing overall
levels of protective factors can be beneficial to students, families and the community at large.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use: According to the PRIDE survey results, student
respondents recorded the highest, prevalence of use rates in the past year for alcohol (33.2%),
followed by marijuana (25.0%), synthetic marijuana (6.2%), tobacco (7.4%) and prescription
drugs (5.2%). The prevalence of use rates in the past 30 days was highest for alcohol (17.7%),
followed by marijuana (16.1%), prescription drugs (3.1%) and cigarettes (3.1).
Other Antisocial Behaviors: For the overall sample, the annual prevalence rates recorded for the
eight other problem, or antisocial, behaviors cover a broad range: 37.7% replied in the affirmative
to been suspended from school in the past year, making it the most prevalent of the eight
behaviors; attacked someone with the idea of seriously hurting them was the second most
prevalent at 22.4% and been drunk or high at school was third at 17.1%. Stolen or tried to
steal a motor vehicle was the least prevalent at 4.7%.

Page 6 Real-Talk Ward 7

Overall PRIDE, Inc. Survey Results

Overall scores across the five protective factor scale scores range from a low of 36 to a high
of 66, with an average score of 52, two points higher than the normative average of 50. The
lowest protective factor score was interaction with prosocial peers (36). While policies that
target any protective factor potentially could be important resources for students, focusing
prevention planning in this area could be especially beneficial. The highest protective factor
score was school opportunities for prosocial involvement (66). The higher scores reported
by students in this area represent a source of strength to be built upon whereas, the lower
scores are areas of concern to be addressed.
Overall scores across the 18 risk factor scales range from a low of 16 to a high of 83, with
an average score of 44, six points lower than the normative average of 50. The three highest
risk factor scales were community disorganization (83), interaction with antisocial peers (74)
and low neighborhood attachment (59). The three lowest risk factor scales were parental
attitudes favorable toward drug use (16), favorable attitudes toward drug use (24), and
parental attitudes favorable toward antisocial behavior (25). The lower scores reported by
students in these areas represent strengths that can be built upon and conversely the higher
scores represent areas to be addressed.
(Note that, while viewing these PRIDE survey findings as a valuable baseline of data and an
affirmation of much of the anecdotal information we have about youth attitudes and behaviors
regarding substance use and abuse in Ward 7, the Coalition understands that, across an entire
ward, there likely will be a saw tooth of life experiences, perspectives, facts and responses to
be gathered. Therefore, as we continue to pursue data across other Ward 7 neighborhoods that
may be more or less socio-economically stable and affluent, we expect to find varying levels of
substance interaction that will further enhance our view of what is happening, where and why,
to, by and for youth across the Ward.)
Details and Findings: The Real Talk Focus Groups

A total of 142 individuals participated in a total of 12, Real Talk sessions (including 2 preliminary
groups). There were 14 parents (five male and nine female) and 128 youth (68 males and 60 females)
whose ages ranged from 13 to 20. All were Ward 7 residents.
Both youth and adult participants were recruited from seven, targeted, DC public housing
neighborhoods in the Ward to participate in the focus groups. Public housing residents were
selected, because they are considered to be among the most vulnerable, at-risk and hard-to-reach
populations in the City. While the focus groups were not structured to be necessarily representative
of the entire population, principles of maximum variation sampling within the community were
used. Youth participants were selected from grade levels six through twelve. The size of the
groups ranged from six to 13, with an average group size of eight and as even a mix of males and
females, as was possible.
Information derived from the two preliminary group sessions allowed the research team to create
verbatim statements from community members with which focus group participants could then
agree or disagree. Questions were open-ended, and a list of probes was included to ensure that
significant topics were addressed, if they did not naturally result from participants conversations.
Participants were invited to discuss (a) their overall impressions of the drug situation in Ward 7;
(b) how Ward 7 is similar to or different from other wards, cities, states etc.; (c) how youth have
been impacted by drugs in the community (alcohol and marijuana specifically); (d) whether drug
use is accepted as normal behavior in the community; (e) if drug use, especially alcohol and
marijuana, has become cool and popular in Ward 7, and (f) what would have to happen for Ward 7
to become a drug-free ward. Participants were encouraged to respond freely, with moderators
seeking clarification or further information and making sure that all topic areas were covered in
the time allowed.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 7

Outside of this general understanding of substance involvement, we wanted these focus groups
to reveal:
At what age participating youth were when they were exposed to substances in Ward 7
Whether use of specific substances was viewed as normal behavior by Ward 7 residents
If specific substances were considered to be cool and popular by the participants
The perceptions of participants regarding the risk of harm from using specific substances
The general perception of adults regarding specific substance use by adults and/or youth
Marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, synthetic marijuana, Molly, Ecstasy, PCP,
cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs all were highlighted by participants as substances
to which youth are commonly exposed to in Ward 7; many are referred to as normal and
acceptable for use, as is their presence and easy availability in the community, although many
youth eschewed use of certain drugs (notably PCP, heroin and cocaine).
A comment from one participant, a 17 year-old girl from Benning Terrace, framed the entire
process and the challenges faced, when she asked:
If drugs were so bad, then why are they so available? Truthfully, we dont even care what
adults say about drugs anymore. They are the biggest hypocrites ever. They act like we
dont see that everybody is doing drugs Theyre everywhere, billboards, TV, radio,
we sing songs about drugs Come on Keep it real. Aint nobody worried about the
consequences or tomorrow for-real-for-real. I mean, were not trying to go to jail or
nothing, but if you locked up all the youth that did drugs, there wouldnt be anybody left.
With regard to rampant alcohol use/abuse in Ward 7 and the factors that promote it (a particular
focus of the Coalition in the early stages of our work), we learned that, among youth participants,
alcohol availability and use is so common and so widely available in the community (from retail
outlets, private homes, on the streets etc.) that participants could not imagine youth not having
access, if they wanted to consume it, starting at about age 7. The youth also talked about adults
in the community who have moonshine (homemade alcohol) from down south and let them
(youth) try it. According to the youth, adults make statements like, This will put hair on your
chest, offering it as a rite of passage to manhood for the boys. The girls stated that they have to
be aware of whom they allow to give them drinks, because there are predatory men who try to
trick girls that way, either to get them drunk and take advantage of them or by putting another
drug in their drink. They also shared that girls seem to prefer more of the fruity alcoholic
beverages like coolers and mixed drinks.
Participants also suggested that the legal drinking age is looked at as the age that one is able to
drink in restaurants and clubs, but that nobody really pays attention to the legal drinking age in
the community. They went further to state that some stores will sell alcohol to minors, particularly
if the youth are known to the retailers or if the retailers have a relationship with the kids parents
or grandparents. The youth Real Talk participants were united in the belief that they could
always find an adult who would buy alcohol for them, if they are not able to buy it themselves.
When asked why alcohol is so popular, youth stated that it made them feel better about themselves
and more social with others. They also shared that it relaxed them. They did share that alcohol
influences them to do things that they would not otherwise do, if not under the influence. Some
of those, if not behaviors included unprotected sex, using other drugs, skipping school and
other antisocial or criminal behaviors.

Page 8 Real-Talk Ward 7

Real Talk participating adults reported that alcohol has been a part of their lives, since they
could remember. They shared that they did/do not stress not using alcohol to their children, but
did/do not promote it either. The adults stated that, because alcohol is legal, it is not really looked
at as an illegal substance for minors. They talked about picnics where there would be coolers full
of alcohol and beer and where youth had full access without hindrance or judgment by adults.
The adults also shared that, by 13 years of age, almost all minors will have had a drink (a fact
borne out by other research among African-American youth). They went further to share that it
is only perceived as a problem, when people become alcoholics.
Drugs of Choice, Ranked By Participants

The youth and adult groups were asked to rank the order of drugs of choice in Ward 7, and
responded as follows:
Youth Adults
1. Marijuana

1. Alcohol

2. Alcohol

2. Cigarettes

3. Cigarettes

3. Marijuana

4. Ecstasy/e-pills

4. Cocaine

5. Dippers/PCP

5. PCP

6. Molly

6. Heroin

7. K2

7.

8. Cocaine

8. Ecstasy/e-pills

Prescription Drugs

9. Heroin
10. Prescription medications
Overall, drug use in the Ward was reported to be quite high among Real Talk participants
and their peer groups. Youth suggested that out of every 10 youth that they know, an average
of between four and five, will have used drugs in the last 30 days. Their estimates varied by age
group: ages 13-15 (30%); ages 15-17 (70%); ages 18-20 (80%).
It should be noted that alcohol and marijuana use appears to skew the percentages, because when
asked about alcohol, the responses were:
will have tried in lifetime: ages 13-15 (80%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)
will have tried in the last 30 days: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (70%); ages 18-20 (80%)
The responses to marijuana were:
will have tried in lifetime: ages 13-15 (70%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)
will have tried in the last 30 days: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (80%); ages 18-20 (80%)

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 9

The Impact of Advertising

The participants suggested that ads on billboards or stores play a major part in making legal
substances seem acceptable and normal in the communities. They shared that other, more affluent
communities may be exposed to ads promoting business opportunities and health-related concerns,
while their exposure is to ads promoting alcohol and cigarettes. The youth shared that they also
pay close attention to celebrities on TV and in magazines who promote alcohol, cigarettes and
other drugs. Examples of celebrities that have had a huge influence on youth substance use include
P-Diddy, Rick Ross, Little Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog, Nicki Minaj, Little Kim and a host
of local groups. The participants shared that substances that are promoted include alcohol, especially
designer brands, such as Ciroc vodka and Grey Goose , and marijuana, e-pills, Molly and cocaine
(both use and sales). They suggested that drugs are even promoted on animated cartoons like
Family Guy and The Simpsons.
The participants reported that synthetic marijuana is promoted more through word of mouth,
the Internet and cartoonish promotions to younger children.
The adults stated that smoking crack and shooting heroin are viewed negatively among youth and
adults in the community; however, snorting substances does not surface as carrying the same stigma.
The adults shared that billboards and store ads would make one want a smoke or a drink, especially
if one already has the desire to do so. They suggested that print media alcohol and cigarette
advertisements are a negative influence on the youth who already are impressionable. They went
further to suggest that TV, radio and internet advertisements are extremely influential. The adults
also stated that they felt that having so many ads promoting alcohol and drugs for example,
the store windows of liquor and grocery stores, as well as the promotion of marijuana, ecstasy
and other drug usage and sale by celebrities were disrespectful to their community. They went
further to share that they (interpreted to mean The Establishment) would not disrespect
Georgetown and Ward 3 in this way.
Executive Summary Conclusion

Overall, the Real Talk focus groups proved to be an invaluable device for exploring the
anatomy of legal and illegal substance involvement in the Ward 7 community. The clear and
frightening picture they revealed is of youth and adult lives where substance use and abuse
is common, commonly acknowledged and accepted and where there currently appears to be
little impetus to change the status quo, despite acknowledgment that these behaviors can be
dangerous to the individual and hurtful to the communitys overall quality of life.
The discussions revealed that, for a group to influence positive change in Ward 7, there needs
to be a strategic focus on educating youth, parents and the greater community about the history
of a vibrant and resilient Ward 7, before the drug culture became normative; about the many
health and lasting effects of gateway drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use; that use
of gateway drugs frequently leads to use of more serious drugs and about overall, quality of life
implications surrounding substance use and abuse. This information then begins to inform a
blueprint for substantive, environmental change and social reconstruction toward a healthy, safe
and drug-free Ward 7.
Please refer to the full report that follows for detailed research conclusions and forward-motion
considerations developed by the Coalition to combat youth substance use and abuse in Washington,
DCs Ward 7.

Page 10 Real-Talk Ward 7

Introduction
The Ward 7 Safe and Drug Free Communities Coalition (W7SDCC) was formed in March 2011
to connect government and the Wards 29 neighborhoods to collaborate on the reduction and
prevention of youth substance abuse, by developing and implementing environmental strategies
and tactics to effect community change. The environmental strategies approach recognizes
that risks associated with substance use are, in part, a function of the relationship between the
environments frequented by an individual and the substances, both legal and illegal, that an
individual uses.
The W7SDCC began its work by conducting a comprehensive literature review to understand
what research exists addressing youth substance use in general and, more importantly, to examine
the history and current state of youth substance use in Ward 7. There is a plethora of national
and international studies examining many levels of substance use and related behaviors by youth,
families and on the impact of that abuse on communities. However, no significant research is
available that explores and measures levels of substance use and related behaviors among youth
in the Ward 7 communities of Washington, DC.
The W7SDCC posits that a social reconstruction project leading to a drug-free youth culture
would be successful by creating an environment:

That looks healthy and has a positive, drug-free mood

That has consistent opportunities for positive community involvement

That reinforces positive behaviors and positive skill development

That influences and reinforces positive bonds

The Coalition knew that, prior to creating that drug-free youth culture in Ward 7, we needed to
fully understand just what we were dealing with and what stood in the way of eventual success.
Therefore, the W7SDCC determined that, to begin a major environmental/social reconstruction
initiative starting with the most vulnerable communities of Ward 7, we first needed to conduct a
comprehensive, mixed model study, including surveys and focus groups, designed to examine the
ever-changing, dynamic interaction between youth, parents, families, neighborhoods, psychosocial
strengths and weaknesses and the influencing factors that either promote or deter youth substance
use. For example, some youth may be influenced to use substances by ads and media celebrities that
make it look cool to use drugs, while others may be primarily influenced by family members or
friends who use drugs or hold attitudes and beliefs supportive of drug use. The most vulnerable
youth likely would prove the most susceptible to those (anti)social influences; therefore, the more
risk factors to which a vulnerable individual is exposed, the greater the likelihood that he or she
will become a drug user and/or abuser.
The historical framework for our research includes demographic factors, biological factors,
cultural identity and environmental factors. The social factors considered include influences
within the school environment, family factors and overall peer influence. The personal factors
considered include cognitive expectancies, personal competence/skills, social skills and
psychological factors. The behavior construct includes legal/illegal drug use, such as smoking,
drinking, synthetic marijuana use and use of other illicit drugs. In total, this framework
addresses the core risk and protective factors that exist within the national data; the Coalition
looked to the PRIDE, Inc. survey and focus group studies to either confirm or reject that these
factors influenced and impacted substance use/abuse in Ward 7.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 11

Overview: Research Studies


The foundational structure for W7SDCCs initiative launched with in-depth, Ward 7-centric
studies on two planes: (1) A nationally recognized survey, the PRIDE, Inc. Risk and Protective
Factor Survey, from which the Coalition harvested enlightening information, and (2) a series
of equally enlightening focus group sessions with Ward 7 youth and adults, both of which will
guide future efforts.
The PRIDE Survey

The PRIDE Inc. Risk and Protective Factor youth survey for grades 6-12 was designed to identify
the levels of risk and protective factors that predict problem behaviors, such as alcohol, tobacco
and other drug use, poor school achievement and delinquency. In addition to measuring risk and
protective factors, the PRIDE survey also measures the actual prevalence of drug use, violence
and other antisocial behaviors among surveyed students. Administered to 186 Ward 7 middle and
high school students, the survey results identified specific risk and protective factors that the
youth reported to be of most concern in their Ward 7 neighborhoods. This information will be
used by the Coalition and should be of value to the entire City to guide prevention efforts,
to help address existing problems and to promote healthy and positive youth development.
(Note: The PRIDE Inc., Risk and Protective Factor survey executive summary is appended to
this document as ADDENDUM 1).
Risk and Protective Factors Profiles

PRIDEs survey measures each of the risk and protective factor scores on a scale of 0 to 100;
a score of 50 is the normative average for this scale. A low score indicates the relative absence
of the risk or protective factor and a high score indicates an elevated level of that risk or
protective factor.
Since risk factors are associated with an increased likelihood of alcohol and drug use and
other problem behaviors, lower scores on risk factors are desirable.
Conversely, because protective factors are associated with a decreased likelihood of problem
behaviors, a higher score on the protective factors is desirable.
For the overall sample, scale scores across five protective factors measured ranged from a low of
36 to a high of 66, with an average score of 52 (two points higher than the normative average of
50). The lowest protective factor score was interaction with prosocial peers (with a score of 36).
The highest protective factor score was school opportunities for prosocial involvement (score, 66).
Overall scale scores across 18 risk factors measured range from a low of 16 to a high of 83,
with an average score of 44 (six points lower than the normative average of 50). The three
highest risk factor scales were community disorganization (83), interaction with antisocial peers (74)
and low neighborhood attachment (59). The three lowest risk factor scales were parental attitudes
favorable toward drug use (16), favorable attitudes toward drug use (24) and parental attitudes
favorable toward antisocial behavior (25). It is important to keep in mind that scores averaged
across the full range of grade levels included in this report can mask problems within individual
grades; a report is provided later in this document showing grade-level results that can guide
prevention planners efforts to more precisely target intervention opportunities.
It is known that prevention programs and policies focused on reducing a broad spectrum of
risk factors and that increasing overall levels of protective factors can be beneficial to students,
families and the community at large. With sufficient resources for simultaneously addressing
the most prevalent risk and protective factors, focusing prevention efforts on the most elevated,
predatory risk factors and the lowest protective factors should result in the most productive
prevention effort possible. Objective data, used in conjunction with a review of communityspecific issues and resources, can help target the most effective prevention efforts.

Page 12 Real-Talk Ward 7

Demographic Profile of Surveyed Youth

The survey measured a variety of demographic characteristics. A higher percentage of the


students were female (48.5% female vs. 46.4% male). A majority of students identified themselves
as African American (84.2%), followed by Mixed Origin (6.1%), Latino (5.6%), Other (1.6%),
Native American (0.5%) and Asian (0.5%); none self-identified as White (0.0%).
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use

According to the PRIDE survey results, student respondents recorded the highest, prevalence of
use rates in the past year for alcohol (33.2%), followed by marijuana (25.0%), synthetic marijuana
(6.2%), tobacco (7.4%) and prescription drugs (5.2%). The prevalence of use rates in the past 30
days was highest for alcohol (17.7%), followed by marijuana (16.1%), prescription drugs (3.1%)
and cigarettes (3.1%). Breakdowns of these figures by grade are available in the Percentage Tables
and in graphic form late in this document.
Other Antisocial Behaviors

For the overall sample, the annual prevalence rates recorded for the eight other problem, or
antisocial, behaviors cover a broad range: 37.7% replied in the affirmative to been suspended
from school in the past year, making it the most prevalent of the eight behaviors; attacked
someone with the idea of seriously hurting them was the second most prevalent at 22.4% and
been drunk or high at school was third at 17.1%. Stolen or tried to steal a motor vehicle
was the least prevalent at 4.7%.
Risk and Protective Factors

Just as eating a high-fat diet is a risk factor for heart disease and getting regular exercise is a
protective, health factor, there are behavioral characteristics for the community, school, family,
peer groups and individual youth that can help protect youth from or put them at risk for
drug use and other problematic actions.
Protective factors, also known as assets, are conditions that buffer children and youth from
exposure to risk, by either reducing the impact of the risk or changing the way that young
people respond to it. Protective factors identified through research include strong bonding
to family, school, community and peers. These groups support the development of healthy
behaviors for children, by setting and communicating healthy beliefs and clear standards
for childrens behaviors. Young people are more likely to follow standards for behavior set
by those entities, if the bonds are strong. Strong bonds are encouraged, by providing young
people with opportunities to make meaningful contributions to their families, friends,
communities etc.; by teaching them the skills they need to be successful in these endeavors
and by recognizing their successful/admirable contributions.
Risk factors are conditions that increase the likelihood of a young person becoming involved
in drug use, delinquency, violence and/or dropping out of school. For example, children in
families with poor parental monitoring are more likely to become involved in these problem
behaviors. Research during the past 30 years supports the view that delinquency; alcohol,
tobacco and other drug use; lack of achievement in school and other such outcomes in
adolescence are associated with specific characteristics in the students community, school
and family environments, as well as with characteristics of the individual (Hawkins, Catalano
and Miller, 1992 (Hawkins, J. David, Richard F. Catalano, and Janet Y. Miller. 1992. Risk and
Protective Factors for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems in adolescence and Early Adulthood: Implications
for Substance Abuse Prevention. Psychological Bulletin 112 (1): 64105). In fact, these characteristics
have been shown to be more important in understanding these behaviors than ethnicity, income
or family structure (Blum K, Braverman ER, Holder JM, Lubar JF, Monastra VJ, Miller D, Lubar
JO, Chen TJ, Comings DE. 2000. Reward deficiency syndrome: a biogenetic model for the diagnosis and
treatment of impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behaviors. J Psychoactive Drugs. Nov;32 Suppl: i-iv, 1-112).

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 13

There is a substantial amount of research showing that adolescents exposure to a greater


number of risk factors is associated with more drug use and delinquency. There is also
evidence that exposure to a number of protective factors is associated with lower prevalence
of these problem behaviors (Bry BH, McKeon P, Pandina RJ. 1982. Extent of drug use as a function
of number of risk factors. Journal of Abnormal Psycholog y. Aug;91(4):273-9; Newcomb, M. D., E.
Maddahian, and R. Skager. 1987. Substance Abuse and Psychosocial Risk Factors among Teenagers:
Associations with Sex, Age, Ethnicity, and Type of School. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
13:413-33; Newcomb, Michael D.; Felix-Ortiz, Maria 1992. Multiple protective and risk factors for
drug use and abuse: Cross-sectional and prospective findings. Journal of Personality and Social Psycholog y,
Vol 63(2), Aug, 280-296; Newcomb, Michael D. 1995. Drug Use Etiolog y among Ethnic Minority
Adolescents: Risk and Protective Factors. 10529 in Drug Abuse Prevention with Multiethnic Youth,
edited by Gilbert J. Botvin, Steven Paul Schinke, and Mario A. Orlandi. Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage;
Pollard, J. W. et al. Predictions of normative drug use by college students: False consensus, false uniqueness,
or just plain accuracy? Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 14(3), 1999).
The analysis of risk and protective factors is a powerful tool for understanding both positive
and negative adolescent behavior and for helping design successful prevention/intervention
programs for young people. To promote positive development and prevent problem behavior,
it is necessary to address the factors that predict these outcomes. By measuring these risk and
protective factors, the development and implementation of prevention efforts can be prioritized.
This process also helps in selecting effective, prevention programming shown to address those
risk and protective factors and, consequently, provide the greatest likelihood for success. This
system of risk and protective factors is organized into a social development strategy for adolescent
problem behavior prevention that communities and families can be taught to use to help children
develop healthy behaviors (Hawkins, J. David, Richard F. Catalano, and Janet Y. Miller. 1992. Risk
and Protective Factors for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems in adolescence and Early Adulthood: Implications for
Substance Abuse Prevention. Psychological Bulletin 112 (1): 64105).
Overall Results

Overall risk and protective factor scale scores are presented in the two following graphs.
As the first graph (Overall Protective Factor Scale Scores) below shows, overall scores across the
five protective factor scale scores range from a low of 36 to a high of 66, with an average score
of 52, two points higher than the normative average of 50. The lowest protective factor score was
interaction with prosocial peers (36). While policies that target any protective factor potentially
could be important resources for students, focusing prevention planning in this area could be
especially beneficial. The highest protective factor score was school opportunities for prosocial
involvement (66). The higher scores reported by students in this area represent a source of
strength to be built upon.
As the second graph (Overall Risk Factor Scale Scores) shows, overall scores across the 18 risk
factor scales range from a low of 16 to a high of 83, with an average score of 44, six points
lower than the normative average of 50. The three highest risk factor scales were community
disorganization (83), interaction with antisocial peers (74) and low neighborhood attachment (59).
Once again, while policies that target any risk factor could potentially be important resources
for students, directing prevention programming in these areas is likely to be especially beneficial.
The three lowest risk factor scales were parental attitudes favorable toward drug use (16), favorable
attitudes toward drug use (24), and parental attitudes favorable toward antisocial behavior (25).
The lower scores reported by students in these areas represent strengths that can be built upon:

Page 14 Real-Talk Ward 7

Comparisons Across Risk and Protective Factors

Overall Protective Factor Scale Scores:


School Opportunities for Prosocial Involvement

66

School Rewards for Prosocial Involvement

64

Interaction with Prosocial Peers

36

Prosocial Involvement

43

Rewards for Prosocial Involvement

49

Average 52
Overall Risk Factor Scale Scores
Low Neighborhood Attachment

59

Community Disorganization

83

Community Transitions and Mobility

58

Perceived Availability of Drugs

29

Perceived Availability of Handguns

36

Laws and Norms Favorable to Drug Use

58

Poor Family Management

45

Parental Attitudes Favorable Toward Drug Use

16

Parental Attitudes Favorable Toward Antisocial Behavior

25

Academic Failure

41

Low Commitment to School

41

Gang Involvement

34

Perceived Risks of Drug Use

52

Favorable Attitudes Toward Drug Use

24

Favorable Attitudes Toward Antisocial Behavior

41

Rewards for Antisocial Behavior

44

Friends Use of Drugs

34

Interaction with Antisocial Peers


Average

74
44

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 15

Protective Factor Scale Scores Reported by Surveyed Youth, by Grade

6th

7th

8th

9th 10th 11th 12th

School Domain
School Opportunities for
Prosocial Involvement

67

57

48

70

79

75

63

School Rewards for


Prosocial Involvement

44

57

65

73

79

52

68

Peer-Individual Domain
Interaction with Prosocial Peers

35

35

33

39

24

33 50

Prosocial Involvement

52

42

35

49

59

38

Rewards for Prosocial Involvement

46

46

33

58

59

46 47

Average

49

47

43

58

60

49

26
51

Risk Factor Scale Scores Reported by Surveyed Youth, by Grade

6th

7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th

Community Domain
Low Neighborhood Attachment

68

83

58

55

58

50 47

Community Disorganization

88

63

88

88

83

88

81

Community Transitions and Mobility

54

46

63

69

61

54

56

Perceived Availability of Drugs

20

30

29

41

36

35

13

Perceived Availability of Handguns

24

38

35

63

45

18

22

Laws and Norms Favorable to Drug Use

54

74

63

68

61

58

34

Family Domain/
Poor Family Management

46

52

65

50

41

33

34

Parental Attitudes Favorable


Toward Drug Use

12

17

13

19

28

17

Parental Attitudes Favorable


Toward Antisocial Behavior

23

25

25

26

31

33 16

School Domain
Academic Failure

44

17

35

42

38

78

36

Low Commitment to School

48

44

30

50

47

48

20

Peer-Individual Domain
Gang Involvement
Perceived Risks of Drug Use

35
52

44
75

46
83

27
67

25
22

38
35

33
40

Favorable Attitudes Toward Drug Use

27

21

13

33

38

25

Favorable Attitudes Toward Antisocial Behavior

39

42

38

58

41

50

22

Rewards for Antisocial Behavior

28

54

50

52

56

46

25

Friends Use of Drugs

42

26

29

30

46

38

13

Interaction with Antisocial Peers

77

71

92

76

73

58

71

Average

43

47

48

51

46

45

32

Page 16 Real-Talk Ward 7

NOTE: As previously described, the PRIDE survey provided a valuable baseline of information.
That said, W7SDCC understands that, across an entire ward, there likely will prove to be a saw
tooth of life experiences, perspectives, facts and responses to be gathered all valid for the
individual respondent as one traverses Ward 7 neighborhoods that may be more or less socioeconomically stable and affluent.
A modest case in point: The PRIDE survey was conducted with middle and high school students
at the Cesar Chvez Public Charter School Parkside campus (3701 Hayes Street, N.E., Washington,
DC 20019), where a significant majority of students live in the high-risk neighborhoods
surrounding the school. Cesar Chavez is a highly-regarded, charter school to which application
must be made. To the Coalitions thinking, even if the child comes from a very economically
disadvantaged home and even if the home is rife with emotional warfare and substance abuse
the very fact of application to Chavez indicates that at least one adult in the home values
education and what it can deliver to the child and deliver the child from. Chavezs demands and
expectations of students are high. Per its website, it promotes a culture that is highly disciplined,
tightly structured, and motivating of students intrinsic desire to excel. We believe that every child
in the District of Columbia should have access to the quality of education afforded to students
at the most elite private schools in the United States. Therefore, the W7SDCC projects that,
regardless of whether or not the Cesar Chavez student respondents to the PRIDE survey (who
in effect may be seen as next door neighbors of focus group participating peers) are also to be
considered at-risk, their responses quite possibly will reflect somewhat different attitudes, values
and views, impacted and shaped as they probably are by the high expectation/high standards
environment at the Chavez school.
Conversely, the Coalitions focus group participants were recruited precisely because they were
likely to be largely at-risk, public school students more representative of the general youth (and
adult) population in Ward 7 and most likely to provide input reflective of how things truly are
at home, at school and in the streets.
All that notwithstanding, the Coalition believes that its quest for accurate information on
attitudes and behaviors with regard to legal and illegal substance use and abuse in Ward 7 is
far from over. The W7SDCCs work to date has biopsied only one, broad, neighborhood
area of the Ward, and we project that the same survey and focus group tandem could very well
elicit somewhat different responses in the Wards more economically stable neighborhoods, such
as Hillcrest. W7SDCC will continue efforts to secure the funding needed to gain an ever fuller
understanding of what is happening where in Ward 7 and why, so that we can draft well-informed,
measurable responses leading to true social reconstruction where needed across Ward 7.

Real Talk Focus Groups


Methodology

In preparation for the round of Real Talk focus group sessions with Ward 7 youth and adults,
Dr. Bruce Purnell held two, preliminary sessions with youth and two others with adults; all
participants live in Ward 7. These were intended to provide a forum for Ward 7 youth and
parents to air views about legal and illegal substance use in the Ward and disorders and related
behaviors that stem from that use/abuse, while helping the researchers to develop relevant,
spot-on questions and discussion topics for focus groups that then were conducted from
May 5, 2013 to June 1, 2013.
Doing so proved to be an effective strategy for stimulating meaningful conversations about
sensitive and very personally revealing, substance use- and abuse-related topics. It also allowed the
participants to speak honestly and offer opinions without implicating themselves as the focal points.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 17

Facilitators

As noted, Real Talk focus groups were moderated by Dr. Bruce Purnell. Supporting him
were two, professional associates experienced with community research and evaluation. One
previously worked directly with the juvenile justice system; the other had limited experience in
the substance abuse arena. A one-day training session allowed the team of moderators to discuss
areas of inquiry and specific questions that would be used during the focus groups.
Participants

A total of 142 individuals participated in a total of 12, Real Talk sessions (including the 2
preliminary groups). There were 14 parents (five male and nine female) and 128 youth (68 males
and 60 females) whose ages ranged from 13 to 20.

Group

Number of
Participants

Number of
Participants, by Age

Neighborhood

Preliminary 1

16 4, 17 2, 19 -1

Lincoln Heights

Preliminary 2
12

15 3, 16 5, 17 -2
18 1, 20 - 1

Benning Terrace

Group 1 Youth
13

14 5, 15 3, 16 2,
17 2, 18 - 1

Lincoln Heights

Group 2 Youth

15 - 4, 16 2, 18 2, 20 - 2

Kenilworth

Group 3 Youth
12

14 4, 15 3, 17 3,
19 1, 20 - 1

Benning Terrace

Group 4 Youth

16 3, 17 2, 18 2, 19 - 2

Deanwood

Group 5 Youth

10

15 2, 16 4, 17 1, 20 - 3

Paradise

Group 6 Youth

13 3, 14 2, 16 - 3

Greenway

Group 7 Youth

12

14- 2, 16 5, 17 3, 20 - 2

Mayfair

Group 1 Adult

28-45

Mayfair

Group 8 Youth
13

14 - 3, 15 2, 16 4,
17 2, 19 1, 20 - 1

Benning Terrace

Group 2 Adult

31-62

Benning Terrace

Group 9 Youth
10

15 4, 17 2, 18 1, 19 - 3
18 1, 19 - 3

Lincoln Heights

Group 10 Youth

12

13 1, 14 5, 16 4, 17 - 2

Mayfair

Totals

142 participants
total 128 youth
14 Adult

13 = 4, 14 = 19, 15 = 21,
16 = 36, 17 = 21, 18 = 7
19 = 8, 20 =10

Page 18 Real-Talk Ward 7

10

Recruitment

Dr. Purnell is President of Higher Hopes, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Ward 7 and
serving the communitys youth. He and his associates recruited both youth and adults from
seven, targeted, DC public housing neighborhoods in the Ward to participate in the focus groups.
Public housing residents were selected, because they are considered to be among the most
vulnerable, at-risk and hard-to-reach populations in the City. While the focus groups were not
structured to be necessarily representative of the entire population, principles of maximum
variation sampling within the community were used. Youth participants were selected from
grade levels six through twelve. The size of the groups ranged from six to 13, with an average
group size of eight and as even a mix of males and females as was possible.
Setting

Real Talk focus group meetings were conducted at sites in close proximity to the target
neighborhoods. The outreach coordinators who assisted with recruitment also secured meeting
sites and provided logistical support, such as arranging for youth transportation; incentives;
refreshments; room location and set-up. Parental permission and general communications about
purpose, time, dates and sites for meetings were handled by Dr. Purnell. A conference-style
room was used for the Real Talk discussions, with participants seated around a table with the
moderator and an assistant moderator.
Data Collection

The moderator and assistant moderator shared responsibility for leading the sessions and collecting
information. Each focus group session lasted one to two hours. To ensure procedural consistency,
the moderators at each meeting used a previously developed protocol for conducting the sessions.
The protocol addressed ground rules for the discussion; purpose of the focus groups; confidentiality;
introductions and interview questions, as well as general moderator responsibilities. Each session
was audio taped with the knowledge and permission of participants. Confidentiality was guarded
by using only first names. Both moderators kept field notes of discussion themes and other
impressions or observations. The tape recordings of all 12 sessions were transcribed verbatim.
These typed reports of the focus group meetings provided the raw data for analysis.
Interview Questions

The research team developed a final list of questions, after conducting the two preliminary focus
groups. Information derived from the two, preliminary group sessions allowed the research team
to create verbatim statements from community members with which focus group participants
could then agree or disagree. Questions were designed to address the purpose of the focus group
research, which was to understand how the Ward 7 community thinks, feels and acts with regard
to use and involvement with alcohol and illegal substances by youth. Questions were open-ended,
and a list of probes was included to ensure that significant topics were addressed, if they did not
naturally result from participants conversations.
Participants were invited to discuss (a) their overall impressions of the drug situation in Ward 7;
(b) how Ward 7 is similar to or different from other wards, cities, states etc.; (c) how youth have been
impacted by drugs in the community (alcohol and marijuana specifically); (d) whether drug use is
accepted as normal behavior in the community; (e) if drug use, especially alcohol and marijuana,
has become cool and popular in Ward 7 and (f) what would have to happen for Ward 7 to become a
drug-free ward. Participants were encouraged to respond freely, with moderators seeking clarification
or further information and making sure that all topic areas were covered in the time allowed.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 19

Data analysis

Analysis of the verbatim transcripts of those focus group discussions was completed by Dr. Purnell
with the assistance of a graduate practicum student. The analysis consisted of a holistic reading
of all transcripts and notation of themes, patterns and trends. Particular attention was paid to
similar themes emerging from the different age groups of participants. Representative quotes
expressing these themes were noted and highlighted. A guide to similar themes or categories
raised was developed with explanations and examples of each category identified in the transcripts
and organized as the properties or illuminating features of the findings.
This list of categories and major discussion themes formed the outline for a narrative report of
findings that described the most significant outcomes of the focus group discussions both for
researchers and key stakeholders, including youth and adult members of the community.

Real Talk Implementation


Focus Group Questions/Discussion Topics

The basic questions and discussion topics developed from the preliminary focus group sessions
allowed participants to speak freely about drug use in the community and the drugs they perceived
to be the drugs of choice in Ward 7. If the participants felt that there were no popular drugs,
we asked them to state that. Through this study, we sought to gain a conceptual understanding
of drug use in Ward 7 through the lens of residents in the Ward 7 neighborhoods that are
historically known for substance involvement. Outside of this general understanding of
substance involvement, we wanted these focus groups to reveal:
At what age participating youth were when first exposed to substances in Ward 7
Whether use of specific substances was viewed as normal behavior by Ward 7 youth
and/or adults
Whether specific substances were considered to be cool and popular by youth participants
The perceptions of participants regarding the risk of harm from using specific substances
The general perceptions of youth and adults regarding specific substance use by adults
and/or youth
As the questions and responses below are read, keep in mind that W7SDCC believes that
understanding the context of substance involvement in Ward 7 is essential to developing a
successful intervention and prevention strategy for meaningful social reconstruction.
Question #1: What are the drugs of choice in Ward 7?

This basic question allowed participants to talk freely about what they consider to be the most
popular drugs in Ward 7. If there are no popular drugs, we asked the participants to state just that.
Responses

Marijuana was perceived to be the most popular drug for the youth of all ages. The youth
participants reported that everybody smokes weed and that it is so common that many police
ignore it. Many noted that it would be almost impossible to walk through the community at night
and not smell marijuana. They went further to share that very few, if any, children will make it to
the 6th grade without seeing someone roll up a blunt (a marijuana-filled cigar). The only real problem
reported that relates to marijuana was fear of positive drug screenings that would violate probation
agreements and may be a disqualifier for workforce programs. Many youth also shared the opinion

Page 20 Real-Talk Ward 7

that, if it (marijuana) is legitimately a health risk, then it would not be considered medicine and
legally sold as such. The adults felt that it was just a matter of time before marijuana would be
made legal and did not understand why anyone would be locked up for use or distribution. They
(adults) felt that punishments for marijuana were used to prey on black youth.
It was also shared that there is designer marijuana that, just by the name, consumers will know
the potency. These designer brands reportedly hold status for anyone who wants the best. For
example, it was shared that Loud and Dro are the best. If one had Loud or Dro, they said, he
or she would hold high status versus having Reggie (which stands for regular), which most
people only smoke because they cannot afford the better brands.
Alcohol was the second most often mentioned drug of choice for the youth; adults identified
it as the number one choice.
The youth participants stated that alcohol is so common and so widely available in the community
(from retail outlets, private homes, on the streets etc.) that they could not imagine youth not
having access, if they wanted to consume it, starting at about age 7. The youth also talked about
adults in the community who have moonshine (homemade alcohol) from down south and
who let them (youth) try it. According to the youth, adults make statements like, This will put
hair on your chest, offering it as a rite of passage to manhood for the boys. The girls stated
that they have to be aware of whom they allow to give them drinks, because there are predatory
men who try to trick girls that way, either to get them drunk and take advantage of them or by
putting another drug in their drink. They also shared that girls seem to prefer more of the fruity
alcoholic beverages like coolers and mixed drinks.
Participants also suggested that the legal drinking age is looked at as the age that one is able to
drink in restaurants and clubs, but that nobody really pays attention to the legal drinking age in
the community. They went further to state that some stores will sell alcohol to minors, particularly
if the youth are known to the retailers or if the retailers have a relationship with the kids parents
or grandparents. They also shared that some retailers who used to sell to minors are now more
reluctant, due to fear of law enforcement. However, the youth Real Talk participants were
united in the belief that they could always find an adult who would buy alcohol for them, if they
are not able to buy it themselves.
When asked why alcohol was so popular, youth stated that it made them feel better about
themselves and more social with others. They also shared that it relaxed them. They did share
that alcohol influences them to do things that they would not otherwise do, if not under the
influence. Some of those, if not behaviors included unprotected sex, using other drugs,
skipping school and other antisocial or criminal behaviors.
Real Talk participating adults reported that alcohol has been a part of their lives, since they
could remember. They shared that they did/do not stress not using alcohol to their children, but
did/do not promote it either. The adults stated that, because alcohol is legal, it is not really looked
at as an illegal substance for minors. They talked about picnics where there would be coolers full
of alcohol and beer and where youth had full access without hindrance or judgment by adults. The
adults also shared that, by 13 years of age, almost all minors will have had a drink (a fact borne
out by other research among African-American youth). They went further to share that it is only
perceived as a problem, when people become alcoholics.
Cigarettes were not considered by youth respondents to be a drug, even though they understood
that minors legally are not allowed to buy them from stores. The youth shared that choosing to
smoke cigarettes or not is up to the individual. The majority of the Real Talk participants that
were smokers consume a pack a day or more; the minority reported smoking a cigarette now and
then. They called the latter social smoking. Those who smoke shared that menthol cigarettes
are their top choice, based on the belief that the menthol in some way reduced the negative
health implications. They also stated that starting to smoke had been the result of influential ads,

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 21

peer pressure and modeling behavior which came from things like the use of candy cigarettes,
when they were young. They said that adults introduce cigarettes as a way to relax and that it is
normal to see adults and youth smoking in the community.
The majority of the adults in the groups that are smokers admitted to being addicted to cigarettes
and shared that they had consistently, but unsuccessfully, tried to stop. The adults shared that
they knew smoking was bad for youth, but did not feel that they had any power to prevent them
from starting or continuing to smoke. The adults also indicated that cigarettes are a normal part
of life in the Ward. Both adults and youth shared that the general community does not pay attention
to the health risks. They suggested that, if they had attended classes specifically showing them
the health risks of using cigarettes before they started smoking, it might have had an impact.
Electronic cigarettes were reported to be a new way that youth are smoking and that they are
viewed as classy and cool, without the health risks. Youth stated that electronic smoking is
catching on fast, starting at about 7th grade.
Synthetic marijuana (K2, Spice, Scooby Snacks etc.) was the subject of many stories that
youth participants shared about peers who used K2. These stories provided details of youth who
were on K2 and committed strange acts. Some youth participants reported that they had tried it,
but would not do it again, because of the fear of not being able to control the high. The
older youth shared that they had witnessed children as young as six trying to consume K2 even
trying to roll it up and smoke it with notebook paper! The youth all knew of stores that would sell
synthetic marijuana to them, but shared that the stores did not have it in sight anymore. They
suggested that you had to ask for it and, if they know you, the stores would sell it to youth and adults.
Several youth reported that the K2 Zombie ads, produced by the District of Columbia Department
of Health, do have an impact on deterring the younger youth from trying these drugs.
The youth shared that it is common knowledge that youth connected to the juvenile justice
system use K2 or synthetic marijuana, because it will not be detected by a urinalysis examination.
The adults reported being aware of K2, but not aware of an epidemic of use. They had heard
stories and had seen it in the stores, but had little knowledge of what it is. They shared that they
also know of adults and youth who would smoke it, rather than marijuana, to still be able to pass
drug tests for the justice system and the work force.
PCP was reported by youth to be the kind of drug that, if someone used, it would not be popular
or cool to other youth. The youth all knew other youth that smoked PCP in the form of cigarettes
that were dipped in the PCP liquid (called dippers by many) and viewed them as being too
extreme to be normal. They shared the outlandish things that they had seen youth and adults do
that were under the influence of PCP, including stripping naked and senseless acts of violence to
self and others. They also shared that PCP was readily available in the communities of Ward 7.
The groups were not aware of any health risks from PCP, except for what they witnessed firsthand.
The adults shared that a PCP and marijuana mix called Love Boat had been a drug of choice
in DC through the 1980s and 1990s. They were aware that some people who used PCP would
lose their mental stability (lunch-out) and were committed to hospital psychiatric wards.
However, this did not deter many from using and that Love Boat was promoted by Go-Go
bands and that made it cool.
Molly and Ecstasy have become commonly available and used drugs; they are considered drugs
of choice throughout Ward 7 and other communities, according to the youth. They shared that
ecstasy had been popular for the last 10 years, but was just being talked about more now. Youth
suggested that Molly and ecstasy were promoted by entertainers, especially rappers, and that
youth as early as the 4th and 5th grades wanted to experience the high. No one viewed Molly
or ecstasy as drugs with harmful consequences. The group shared that these drugs were also
believed to be aphrodisiacs. They stated that youth would use these drugs to increase the sexual
mood at parties and that some men would try to get girls to use them to influence sex behavior.
The girls shared that they were warned to be aware of these substances being put in drinks.

Page 22 Real-Talk Ward 7

The youth discussed that both Molly and ecstasy were readily available and accessible in Ward 7
neighborhoods to people of all ages.
The adults referred to these drugs as the new youth drugs. They reported knowing of them
and said that some adults consume them, but that they are more connected to the youth culture.
They also shared that it is almost impossible to detect a youth that is using, because there are no
smell and no additional signs, except if they are extremely happy for no apparent reason.
Cocaine and heroin, according to the youth participants, are regarded as old, head drugs. The
groups consistently reported knowing of youth and adults who did both, but the drugs were not
considered cool or popular. Youth suggested that everyone was aware of the effects of crack cocaine
and heroin. Further, those who do cocaine and heroin hang out with each other and do not mingle
socially with the regular groups of youth. Youth also stated that, if someone wants cocaine or
heroin, both are available within the communities of Ward 7. However, they shared that there
would normally be a pushback from drug dealers, when younger youth try to purchase these drugs.
The adults suggested that heroin is more extreme than cocaine, just because of the needles. They
shared that there is a major difference between the powder form of cocaine and the rock form
(crack). They related that the powder form is viewed as a rich mans drug and the rock form is
viewed as a poor mans drug. Moreover, the rock form is connected to the negative stigma of
being a crack-head, which appears to be a deterrent for the youth.
Prescription drugs, according to youth participants, are used mostly as pain killers by youth
who use drugs prescribed for others. They stated that those who want to use these drugs have
easy access to them through their parents and other youth that were prescribed the medicines
and who would sell or give them away. The groups suggested that there is no real education
about the health risks in the community of using someone elses prescription drugs and that
prescription drugs are looked at as one of the safest ways to get high, because they come from
the hospital or a doctor. Medical marijuana was discussed as the new prescription drug that
will be abused. The youth shared that they knew of youth who were trying to find doctors that
would prescribe marijuana, so that they could get a medical card.
The adults stated that they readily have shared each others prescription drugs, especially the
narcotics. They suggested that they were not aware of any major health risk and, although they
know it is wrong, it is a normal behavior.
Drugs of Choice, Ranked By Participants

The youth and adult groups were asked to rank the order of drugs of choice in Ward 7, and
responded as follows:
Youth Adults
1. Marijuana

1. Alcohol

2. Alcohol

2. Cigarettes

3. Cigarettes

3. Marijuana

4. Ecstasy/e-pills

4. Cocaine

5. Dippers/PCP

5. PCP

6. Molly

6. Heroin

7. K2

7.

8. Cocaine

8. Ecstasy/e-pills

Prescription Drugs

9. Heroin
10. Prescription medications

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 23

Question #2: Are the drugs of preference different in Ward 7 than in other parts
of the City or the broader metropolitan area?

Youth participants did not feel that there is a difference of drug choice within DC. They felt
that there may be differences by geographical region, when Maryland and Virginia are included.
One example given was that PCP is a DC drug that spread through the broader regions. The
participants did suggest that race is more of a determinant of drug choice than is a geographical
region. They suggested that some might think that there are geographical differences, but
that is because youth generally live in segregated communities. An example used was that the
extreme drugs of choice for white youth likely would be prescription drugs, methamphetamines,
psychedelics and synthetic drugs, whereas, in the low income communities of Ward 7 that are
predominately African American, the extreme drug of choice for youth would be PCP.
Drug choices by age groups

There were very few differences reported among the age groups regarding drug choice. This
suggests that, at 13 years of age, Ward 7 youth were exposed to the drug culture and understood
the drugs that are available and being used. The 13 to 15 year-olds, like the other age groups,
reported having friends who use all of the drugs. This group (13-15) did report having more
friends that smoke K2 and fewer who use cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs. All of the age
groups shared that marijuana and alcohol are commonly available.
Reasons for Drug Use

The Real Talk groups were asked to respond to the following statement made by a 15 year-old
male from Lincoln Heights in one of the preliminary focus groups:
Man, I feel better when Im high; it helps me cope with the world. Thats the only thing that
keeps me out of trouble, especially with the violence. Then they have me on these meds and I
dont like how they make me feel. So I smoke weed and pop pills, and I dont take the meds.
Guiding questions posed to the group
1. How do you feel about that statement? Is this a true statement?
2. Do the drugs of choice make a difference as to how drug use is perceived? Explain stigma.
3. Would you say that young people are finding a way to self-medicate without a doctor?
4. Do youth do drugs because they dont like the effects of medications that were prescribed
for them?
5. Do ads on stores and billboards influence youth to drink or smoke?
Youth responses
The majority of the youth participants felt that they could completely identify with the scenario,
even if they do not use substances themselves. Almost unanimously, the participants reported
knowing of friends who use drugs, because they feel that drugs relieve stress. They also reported
knowing friends who choose their own drugs, because they do not like the effect of medications
that are prescribed for them.
The participants suggested that some caregivers are hypocrites, because they tell youth that they
want them to be drug-free, but then encourage them to take legal drugs that also make them feel
high. The youth agreed that most of the youth who use drugs do so as a way to escape a negative
reality or life.
The participants also felt that the drug of choice does make a difference, as far as stigma is concerned.
For example marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes were perceived to help youth cope, but cocaine,
e-pills, heroin and dippers were considered real drugs.

Page 24 Real-Talk Ward 7

The participants agreed that drugs are definitely a way to self-medicate; alcohol and marijuana
are the most common choices. It was stated and supported that the only time that alcohol is a
problem is when it turns a person into an alcoholic. They felt that this is a rare occurrence.
Advertisements

The participants suggested that ads on billboards or stores play a major part in making legal
substances seem acceptable and normal in the communities. They shared that other communities
may be exposed to ads promoting business opportunities and health-related concerns, while
their exposure is to ads promoting alcohol and cigarettes. The youth shared that they also pay
close attention to celebrities on TV and in magazines who promote alcohol, cigarettes and other
drugs. Examples of celebrities that have had a huge influence on youth substance use include
P-Diddy, Rick Ross, Little Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog, Nicki Minaj, Little Kim and a
host of local groups. The participants shared that substances that are promoted include alcohol,
especially designer brands, such as Ciroc vodka and Grey Goose , and marijuana, e-pills, Molly
and cocaine (both use and sales). They suggested that drugs are even promoted on animated
cartoons like Family Guy and The Simpsons.
It should be noted that e-pills and Molly are synthetic drugs that mimic cocaine. The participants
reported that synthetic marijuana is promoted more through word of mouth, the Internet and
cartoonish promotions to younger children.
Stigma

The participants suggested that youth consider people smoking crack, shooting heroin or who
are heavy alcohol abusers to be addicts, which is viewed as a negative; use of the other drugs
(alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes) is viewed as normal and positives to everyday life. They
generally agreed with one statement that, If you have good weed or high-profile alcohol, you
are even looked up to like a celebrity. It was also stated that some youth use the smell of their
weed as a status symbol; the stronger the smell, the better the weed. They shared that many
adults refer to alcohol by designer names and look forward to drinking after work, with every
celebration and in every bad situation.
Adult responses
Adult respondents reported knowing of children and adults who did not like the effects of
medications prescribed for them and were aware of youth who substituted illegal drugs for
prescribed drugs. One example given was of a young man who smoked marijuana and used
ecstasy, because he didnt like the effects of the drug Seroquel, prescribed for bipolar disorder.
The adult participants suggested that people in their communities have always used alcohol,
cigarettes and illegal drugs as a way of coping with stress and to escape reality, especially during
the post-Vietnam era. They stated that, during the late 1970s through the 1980s, there was a
heavy influx of drugs into low-income communities with few deterrents or punishments. They
discussed that this was especially true for East of the River, Wards 7 and 8 specifically. It was
also suggested that the 1980s crack era had a big influence on drug behaviors today and that
Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous have almost been the only other alternative.
They suggested that the only way to become aware of other programs is through people
connected to NA and AA.
The adults stated that smoking crack and shooting heroin are viewed negatively among youth and
adults in the community; however, snorting substances does not surface as carrying the same stigma.
The adults shared that the billboards and store ads would make one want a smoke or a drink,
especially if one already has the desire to do so. They suggested that the print media alcohol and
cigarette advertisements are a negative influence on the youth who already are impressionable.
They went further to suggest that TV, radio and Internet advertisements are extremely influential.
The adults also stated that they felt that having so many ads promoting alcohol and drugs for

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 25

example, the store windows of liquor and grocery stores, as well as the promotion of marijuana,
ecstasy and other drug usage and sale by celebrities were disrespectful to their community.
They went further to share that they would not disrespect Georgetown and Ward 3 in this way.
Perception of substance usage and the associated risks among Ward 7 youth

The groups were asked to respond to the following statement made by a 17 year old girl from
Benning Terrace during the preliminary Real Talk focus group:





If drugs were so bad, then why are they so available? Truthfully, we dont even care what
adults say about drugs anymore. They are the biggest hypocrites ever. They act like we dont
see that everybody is doing drugs Theyre everywhere, billboards, TV, radio, we sing
songs about drugs Come on Keep it real. Aint nobody worried about the consequences
or tomorrow for-real-for-real. I mean, were not trying to go to jail or nothing, but if you
locked up all the youth that did drugs, there wouldnt be anybody left.

Guiding questions
What are your feelings about the statement?
Do young people believe that there are risks involved with drug usage? If so, does this stop
young people from using?
Do you think that the media, meaning songs, movies, TV, etc. have had an influence on
youth using drugs?
Do you think that adults are hypocrites, when it comes to drugs?
Is there a connection between drugs and health problems/crime etc.? How about sexual
behavior and teen pregnancy?
Youth responses
The youth agreed that many of their peers feel that, if adults are really against drugs, then drugs
would not be so readily available. They suggested that everyone, adults included, knows that
drugs are being used in every community of Ward 7, but then they (organizations) hold forums
to discuss drug use like they are not aware of what is going on. The youth also suggested that
most adults are not aware of youth aspirations, but are aware of their participation in crimes,
such as drug sales and usage. However, because its the norm, nothing was usually done. The
youth believe that there are good police officers, coaches, teachers and social workers who have
tried to lead them the right way, but they do not live in the community. The youth suggested that
the adult population is out of touch with the youth culture.
The youth also stated that, if they understood the big risks involved with drugs, many of their
peers would not use. However, the youth suggested that because drugs have become very
available and drug use very common in Ward 7, drug use, sales and their consequences, such
as jail, hold no shock value to the youth. They felt that media has a big influence on drug use
because they present it as cool from the time that youth are in elementary school.
The youth shared that some adults are hypocrites, because they preach about saying No! to
drugs, but then do it themselves. Examples were given of DC politicians caught using drugs.
They went further to suggest that there definitely is a connection between drug use, sex and
crime, especially when ecstasy, cocaine and heroin are used. They also believe that health
problems are connected only if one becomes an addict or is at-risk of being diagnosed with
cancer caused by excessive cigarette use.

Page 26 Real-Talk Ward 7

Adult responses
The adults felt that the statement by the 17 year-old girl from Benning Terrace captured the
personality of a typical Ward 7 youth. They shared that youth blame them (adults) for everything
that goes wrong in their lives. The adults discussed that people have been doing drugs for a long
time in Ward 7 and there have always been drugs available. The illegal drugs, they say, are in all
the neighborhoods and the liquor stores sell beer and liquor regardless of the buyers age. They
went further to share that most people who did drugs as a youth were not worried about the risks
and that many young people didnt even believe that they are going to live to adulthood.
The adults shared that young people imitate what celebrities do, so if their chosen celebrity role
models are doing drugs they (the youth) are going to do them also. They felt that everybody is
always looking for somebody else to be a hypocrite. Some adults do drugs for the same reasons
that youth do them, but do not want youth to go down the same road.
Prevalence of Drug Use Among Youth

The youth groups were asked to provide an estimate of the percentage of students their age that
have used drugs during the last 30 days and ever in their lifetime.
Youth responses
The youth suggested that out of every 10 youth they know, somewhere between eight and nine
will have tried some type of drug in their lifetime.
The youth further suggested that out of every 10 youth that they know, an average of between
four and five, will have used drugs in the last 30 days. Their estimates varied by age group: ages
13-15 (30%); ages 15-17 (70%); ages 18-20 (80%).
It should be noted that alcohol and marijuana use may have skewed these percentages, because
when asked about alcohol, the responses were:

will have tried in lifetime: ages 13-15 (80%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)

will have tried in the last 30 days: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (70%); ages 18-20 (80%)

The responses to marijuana were:


will have tried in lifetime: ages 13-15 (70%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)

will have tried in the last 30 days: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (80%); ages 18-20 (80%)

Youth Perceptions of Parents Attitudes, Beliefs and Concerns About Drug Use

The following is a statement by a parent from Mayfair, made during the preliminary focus groups:






Im not saying whether its right or wrong for kids to use drugs. Im just saying that I would
rather they do whatever they are going to do in the house than in the streets. I would rather
that they didnt do drugs, but if they do, I want them to be open about it rather than to hide it.
Ill keep it real with you; Ive done my share of drugs and have experienced everything out
here in the streets. Its best for parents to keep it one hundred percent with the youth and
let them make the decision. Some people may think Im a bad parent because of it, but I know
where mine is and what they are doing.

Guiding questions

How do you feel about the statement?

How many out of every 10 parents in Ward 7 do you believe feel this way, with 0 being the
lowest number and ten being the highest

Do you think that parents in other parts of the City feel differently about this? If so,
what do you think determines how parents think about this? For example, what is it about
the environment in Ward 7 that is different from other environments with regard to how
parents think and feel about drugs?

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 27

Youth responses
The youth participants suggested that every hood has homes where cool parents allow their
children to smoke (use drugs) in the house and sometimes use drugs with them. Other youth
know where the homes and other places are where they go to smoke marijuana or use other
drugs, such as ecstasy and even PCP. They also suggested that these homes are normally hangouts for youth who dont go to school.
The participants were split on whether or not parents should allow their children to use drugs
in the house. Some of the youth stated that youth need parents who act more like parents than
friends and that it would be hard to be disciplined by someone that you do drugs with. Some of
the youth, however, believe that it would be better for youth to be able to use drugs in the house,
rather than doing it in the street, if they are going to use drugs anyway.
The youth participants suggested that between one and two, Ward 7 parents out of every 10
would allow their children to use drugs in the house. They further suggested that many more
things are tolerated in the hood (low income neighborhoods) because people have less to
lose. They also stated that the risks that people take are connected to what people have to look
forward to in life. The less one has to look forward to, the more likely it is that he/she will
participate in risky behaviors.
Adult responses
The adult participants suggested that they could understand why some parents feel it would
be better for their children to be at home doing drugs or any other negative behavior , rather
than in the street. They suggested that, because youth are dying in the streets, it is better to
know what they are doing and bring them in rather than not know and have them risk the
consequences of the streets (arrest, jail, death etc.).
The female participants felt that having a strong man around would help them better understand
how to intervene with teen boys. The females suggested that sometimes single mothers allow
this kind of behavior, because they are scared for the young men to be in the street.
The male participants agreed with the female participants that positive male role models would
make a significant difference with young men and young women. They added that whether
some parents allow drugs in their homes also depends on the type of drugs being used. They
suggested that many parents do not view cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol in the same, negative
light as they view other drugs, such as cocaine, PCP and heroin.
Note: The following questions were asked during the youth sessions only. The questions were
intended to discover the why, what, where, when and how of youth drug use in Ward 7.
Question #1: Where are the most common locations where youth use drugs
in Ward 7?

Responses
1. Hang-out houses
2. Vacant homes
3. Chosen area of the neighborhood with limited access
4. Residential hallways
5. Cars

Page 28 Real-Talk Ward 7

Question #2: What are the most common ways that young people use drugs?

Responses
1. Smoke (ingest marijuana with rolling papers and smoking pipes; also
crack-cocaine)
2. Drink (consume alcohol)
3. Snort (consume cocaine)
4. Swallow (consume prescription meds, and e-pills)
5. Under-tongue (consume some prescription drugs, molly and cocaine)
6. Shoot-up (consume heroin, cocaine and some prescription meds)
Question #3: Where do youth go to obtain drugs?

1. How easy is it to get drugs?


2. Where do youth get drugs?
Responses
The youth participants suggested that drugs are very easy to get right in the community. They
went further to share that everyone knows that, even the police. The youth stated that the most
common sources for drugs are:
1. Friends
2. Siblings
3. Cousins/Family
4. Youth who sell drugs in the neighborhood
5. Adults who sell in the neighborhood
6. Parents who use
7. Youth who sell in school
8. Retailers who sell alcohol and K2
Question #4: What would you say are the most common reasons that youth
use drugs?

Responses
1. Stress
2. Peer pressure
3. To be cool
4. Self-medication
5. Escape
6. Boredom
7. Fun
8. It feels good

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 29

Question #5: What are the differences between youth who choose not to
use drugs from the youth who do, given the same external pressures?

Responses
1. Connected to positive people
2. Positive family
3. Connected to positive activities
4. Connected to school
5. High self-esteem
6. Have ways to cope with stress
7. Have love in their lives
8. Positive relationships
9. Have friends that dont use drugs
10. Have someone to talk to
11. Know people who believe in them
12. Connected to spirituality, higher power or religion
13. Connected to other forms of positive health

Conclusions
The Real Talk focus groups proved to be invaluable devices for further exploring the anatomy
of legal and illegal substance involvement in the Ward 7 community. In all, 142 Ward residents
participated from seven different neighborhood communities that have been known historically
for heavy substance sales, involvement, use and abuse. A total of 128 youth and 14 adults
participated in the discussions; 73 males and 69 females.
The focus groups proved to be a safe space for participants willingly and freely to discuss their
thoughts and feelings about substance involvement, use, abuse and related behaviors. The groups
provided an insight-filled, photo album revealing many behavioral snapshots of substance
use in Ward 7. The participants shared that youth as young as seven years-old are exposed to
substances, that most youth in Ward 7 have had some type of encounter with substances by age
13 and that most youth perceive both illegal and legal drugs and their uses as the norm. There
were many statements and inferences that substance involvement was viewed as normal, driven
by parenting strategies, community environment and youth expectations.
The Real Talk discussions revealed that marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes regularly are
consumed in the Ward with no age limitations; additional, alarming concerns about synthetic
marijuana, ecstasy, Molly and PCP also surfaced. The sessions also revealed that advertisements
in liquor store windows have a negative impact on the youth, encouraging them to want, like
and consume alcohol; moreover, these ads are perceived as disrespectful to residents of Ward 7.
It was also shared that celebrity endorsements and ads negatively influence youth to make the
wrong choices regarding substance use and other risky behaviors.
The discussions revealed that, for a group to influence positive change in Ward 7, there would
have to be a strategic focus on educating youth, parents and the greater community about the
history of a vibrant and resilient Ward 7, before the drug culture became normative, as well as
the many health and overall, quality of life implications surrounding substance use and abuse.
This information begins to inform a blueprint for substantive, environmental change and social
reconstruction in a healthy, safe and drug-free Ward 7.

Page 30 Real-Talk Ward 7

Key Learning Points

1. The reported, top three drugs of choice for adults and youth in Ward 7 are alcohol,
marijuana and cigarettes. The adults order of use reported was alcohol, cigarettes and
marijuana; for youth it was marijuana, alcohol and then cigarettes.
2. Cigarettes enjoy a high level of acceptance and common use; they are not even viewed as a drug.
3. Drinking alcohol is common and not something that the youth feel they have to wait until the
age of 21 to do. The youth spoke of adults that will buy them alcohol and some stores that will
sell them alcohol as minors, frequently because of familiarity with grandparents or parents.
4. Marijuana is regarded as a natural drug that everybody uses. Few report viewing it as a
substance that causes harm.
5. Youth and adults report having friends involved with the juvenile and adult justice systems
that use K2 or synthetic marijuana, because it is not detected by a urinalysis examination.
6. The youth reported knowing peers who have used K2. Many had stories of youth who were
on K2 and committed strange acts.
7. Designer marijuana (Loud, Dro) and alcohol (Ciroc, Grey Goose, Moet) are considered cool.
8. Adults reported that drugs have become a part of everyday life. They added that alcohol and
marijuana are as common and available as aspirin and are looked at the same way.
9. According to youth and adults, celebrity endorsements have the greatest influence on the
youth drug culture. Youth who already lacked real role models are more likely to imitate the
behaviors of celebrities in commercial ads.
10. The youth reported that 80 to 90% of youth would use drugs in their lifetime and 40 to 50%
would use drugs in the next 30 days. The numbers go up significantly when looking at
alcohol and marijuana specifically both on the lifetime question and the last 30 days question.
For alcohol, the responses to:

will have tried in lifetime were: ages 13-15 (80%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)

will have tried in last 30 days were: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (70%); ages 18-20 (80%)

For marijuana, the responses to:


will have tried in lifetime were: ages 13-15 (70%); ages 15-17 (90%); ages 18-20 (90%)

will have tried in last 30 days were: ages 13-15 (50%); ages 15-17 (80%); ages 18-20 (80%)

11. It was suggested that every neighborhood has a hang-out house where youth can hang out
and do drugs. Such homes are reported as being usually owned or leased by an adult who
also is a drug user.
12. Friends, siblings and cousins (family) were reported as the top three sources for obtaining
illegal drugs. The alcohol retail stores and adults were named as a very accessible source for
obtaining alcohol, cigarettes and synthetic marijuana.
13. Stress, peer pressure and feelings that drugs are cool were presented as the top three reasons
why youth use drugs.
14. Depression and traumatic events, such as reactions to intense violence and abuse whether
witnessed or experienced, were also stated as regular, motivating causes of substance use
and abuse.
15. Being connected to positive people, having a positive family, being connected to positive
activities and school were the top four reasons given as to why youth who do not use drugs
are able to stay drug-free.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 31

16. A ll of the youth and just a few of the adults reported being aware of K2 (synthetic
marijuana). The youth reported that they all knew of other youth who used K2. Many had
stories of youth who were on K2 and committed strange acts. Some of the youth reported
that they had tried it, but would not do it again, due to the fear of not being able to control
the high. They reported that the DC Department of Healths K2 Zombie ads are accurate
and have had a positive influence on the younger youth. The older youth reported that they
have caught younger youth trying to consume K2, even trying to roll it up and smoke it
with notebook paper. They reported children as young as 7 years-old being exposed to K2.
The Real Talk sessions proved to be a viable way to expand the Coalitions foundational
knowledge base, adding to its abilities to begin crafting innovative prevention, intervention and
community-building strategies that can work in the context of what real life is like for youth in
Ward 7. The goals of these new programs should be first to increase youth sense of personal
and community resilience and to encourage positive motivation in such a way that it leads to
transformative outcomes, including a drug-free youth culture. W7SDCC posits that by increasing
youth, family and community assets, we will be directly responding to the negative factors and
influences, such as substance use, violence and crime that are symptoms of risk-filled lifestyles.
The most glaring and painful-to learn revelations from the focus groups are that children as
young as seven are exposed to and often engaged in use of legal and illegal substances; that most
youth in Ward 7 have had some type of encounter with substance by age 13 and that most youth
perceived use of many legal and illegal drugs as normal behavior that they expect to encounter
and, often, exhibit.
In summary, the Real Talk focus group discussions made it clear that, to counter substance
abuse in the Ward, there must be a strong focus on educating our youth, parents and the
broader community about the very real dangers of legal and illegal substance use in the Ward
7 community. This information should inform a comprehensive blueprint for the social
reconstruction of a healthier, safer and drug-free Ward 7.

Recommendations
Based on what the W7SDCC learned from the Real Talk sessions, the Coalition sees a number
of additional information-gathering and remedial pathways forward. Some are viable and doable
in the near-term and others more long-term in nature, as follows:
1. Expand the next wave of Real Talk focus groups beyond the seven Ward 7 neighborhoods
covered in our initial research. Those discussions recruited participants from the most
vulnerable communities in Ward 7. We may find that youth and adults in other, Ward 7
neighborhoods, such as Hillcrest, have different views and responses to the same questions
and topics of discussion. The W7SDCC will seek additional, outside funding this year for
expanding the reach of the focus groups.
2. Expand the Real Talk focus groups to include more of the key stakeholders in the Ward 7
community. Creating a healthy, safe and drug-free community involves getting proactive input
and participation from key stakeholders, including the business community, government,
clergy, civic associations etc. Outside funding also will be sought for this purpose.
3. Use the findings from these focus groups to pursue the development of:

Page 32 Real-Talk Ward 7

Comprehensive intervention strategies for outreach services e.g., partnering with


a major local university social work, medical and/or psychology program to provide
low-cost or free counseling for at-risk youth that includes up close and personal
presentation of healthcare information about the impact of legal/illegal drugs on
general physical and mental health, life expectancy etc.

New, Ward 7-centric educational youth programs that empower a Lets get it all out on
the table focus group construct that becomes a regular part of the school week classes
with students and teachers (to be pursued by W7SDCC with Ward 7 charter school
administrations first).

Innovative engagement activities for the youth and parents e.g., Higher Hopes, to the
Outcomes, Inc., urban agriculture, the clubhouse model and other life-and self-affirming
activities that promote feelings of accomplishment and self-worth; training and empowering
youth with the information and communication skills they need to challenge those in
the community who are the key contributors to the problem.

Advocacy programs helping youth and parents to become active in their community
causes: e.g. the next phases of W7SDCCs Sign Off program, one that seeks to generate
community power that drive legislative change that, in turn, drives measurable
environmental change and, in its wake, social reconstruction.

Care management intended to build the resilience of Ward 7 youth and lead to social
transformation, while reducing the risk factors in the community.

Overall, the first wave of Real Talk focus groups underscores that much more research is
needed to advance and broaden our understanding of the prevalence and effects of substance
involvement by Ward 7 youth, related behaviors and the impact of resilience-building training
and activities.
It commonly is acknowledged that the days of Just say No! are long gone and deservedly so.
And the old, This is your brain; this is your brain on drugs tack, while a powerful and accurate
visual metaphor, cannot possibly convey in a 30-second commercial the myriad, negative near
and long-term impacts that use and abuse of legal and illegal substances can have on minds and
bodies, young and old.
Recognizing this, the W7SDCC and the many other groups, individuals, policymakers and
healthcare practitioners who want and intend to influence positive change within the community
must continue to dig deep for those data that convey the true context of the communitys issues.
These findings must then be strategically utilized to develop prevention, intervention and
treatment models that then become evidence based programs that will be the most impactful or
best practices within the Ward 7 community specifically, but across the broader spectrum of
society in general.

Real-Talk Ward 7 Page 33

ADDENDUM 1: PRIDE Risk and Protective


Factor Executive Summary
2012-13 Ward 7 Schools,
Washington, DC June 25, 2013

P
RIDE
Surveys

June 25, 2013

Washington, DC

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Risk and Protective Factor Executive Summary

3
4
5
7
9
11
14
16
21
26
26

1 Introduction

2 Demographics

3 30-Day Drug Use

4 Students Perception of Risk

5 Perception of Parental Disapproval

6 Perception of Friends Disapproval

7 Students Perception of Availability

8 Where Students Use

9 When Students Use

10 The Pride Surveys

11 Why Schools Use Pride Surveys

Contents

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

ii

Washington, DC

Introduction

NOTE: THIS IS ONLY A BRIEF SUMMARY OF


YOUR RESULTS. YOUR FULL AND COMPLETE
REPORT CAN BE FOUND ON YOUR CD-ROM.

This summary and the accompanying CD-ROM (full report) will assist you in
meeting the requirements of ESEA as well as requirements from agencies (DFC,
etc.) that have similar requirements in assessment and evaluation.

The graphs and tables in this summary are compiled from data collected in
your school(s) using the Pride Risk and Protective Factor Questionnaire for
Grades 6-12. These graphs and tables cover the areas typically of most interest
for school systems. The areas covered are demographics, prevalence of 30-day
use, perception of risk, students perception of parental disapproval of use, students perception of peer disapproval of use and risk and protective factors. The
drugs covered in this summary are cigarette/tobacco use, alcohol use, marijuana
use and prescription drugs. Marijuana is often used as a measure of illicit drug
use as it is by far the most commonly used of the illicit drugs.

Under the ESEA and DFC, schools are required to report on specific behavirs
and perceptions regarding drug use. The current reporting requirements include
the areas of past 30 day use, perceptions of risk from use, perceptions of parental
disapproval of use and perceptions of peer disapproval of use. Additionally this
report contains information on specific risk and protective factors that research
has shown to be associated with drug use behaviors.

We at Pride Surveys have reviewed the education legislation, Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and attended meetings in Washington, D.C., with
USDOE for briefings on the legislation. This summary and the complete report on
your CD-ROM are intended to assist you in meeting the reporting requirements of
ESEA as well as the requirements for the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support
Program Core Measures.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Pride Surveys
Janie Pitcock
160 Vanderbilt Court
Bowling Green, KY 42103
1-800-279-6361
1-270-746-9596
E-Mail: janie.pitcock@Pridesurveys.com
Web Site: www.Pridesurveys.com

If you have questions about this report or if you wish to have information on
other Pride Surveys services and products, please call the Pride Surveys Office
or write to the following address:

Washington, DC

Demographics

Number of Female students surveyed: 95 (51.1%)

Number of Male students surveyed: 91 (48.9%)

Sex

Number of 12th grade students surveyed: 32 (16.3%)

Number of 11th grade students surveyed: 24 (12.2%)

Number of 10th grade students surveyed: 33 (16.8%)

Number of 9th grade students surveyed: 33 (16.8%)

Number of 8th grade students surveyed: 24 (12.2%)

Number of 7th grade students surveyed: 24 (12.2%)

Number of 6th grade students surveyed: 26 (13.3%)

Grade Levels

Total number of students surveyed: 196

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Number of Other students surveyed: 2 (1.0%)

Number of Mixed Origin students surveyed: 12 (6.2%)

Number of Native American students surveyed: 1 (0.5%)

Number of Asian/Pacific Islander students surveyed: 1 (0.5%)

Number of Hispanic/Latino students surveyed: 11 (5.7%)

Number of African American students surveyed: 165 (85.9%)

Race

Washington, DC

30-Day Drug Use

Table 2: Use of Alcohol in the Past 30 Days


Grade
N of N of
Level
Valid Miss
No
Yes
6th
25
1 88.0 12.0
7th
23
1 95.7
4.3
8th
24
0 95.8
4.2
9th
33
0 72.7 27.3
10th
32
1 65.6 34.4
11th
24
0 75.0 25.0
12th
31
1 90.3
9.7
6-8
72
2 93.1
6.9
9-12
120
2 75.8 24.2
Total
192
4 82.3 17.7

Table 1: Use of Cigarettes in the Past 30 Days


Grade
N of N of
Level
Valid Miss
No Yes
6th
25
1
96.0 4.0
7th
24
0
95.8 4.2
8th
24
0 100.0 0.0
9th
33
0 100.0 0.0
10th
33
0
93.9 6.1
11th
24
0
91.7 8.3
12th
32
0 100.0 0.0
6-8
73
1
97.3 2.7
9-12
122
0
96.7 3.3
Total
195
1
96.9 3.1

NOTE: For tables, N of Valid is the number of students who answered the question and N of Missing is the number of students who did not answer the question.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Table 4: Use of Presc Drugs in the Past 30 Days


Grade
N of N of
Level
Valid Miss
No Yes
6th
25
1
96.0 4.0
7th
24
0 100.0 0.0
8th
24
0
95.8 4.2
9th
33
0
93.9 6.1
10th
32
1
96.9 3.1
11th
23
1
95.7 4.3
12th
32
0 100.0 0.0
6-8
73
1
97.3 2.7
9-12
120
2
96.7 3.3
Total
193
3
96.9 3.1

Table 3: Use of Marijuana in the Past 30 Days


Grade
N of N of
Level
Valid Miss
No
Yes
6th
25
1
96.0
4.0
7th
23
1
95.7
4.3
8th
24
0 100.0
0.0
9th
33
0
75.8 24.2
10th
33
0
69.7 30.3
11th
24
0
66.7 33.3
12th
31
1
90.3
9.7
6-8
72
2
97.2
2.8
9-12
121
1
76.0 24.0
Total
193
3
83.9 16.1

Washington, DC

4.

0.

Cigarettes

0.

Source: Pride Surveys

4.

6.

.3

0.

.0

12

4.

Alcohol

4.

.3
27

.4
34

.0

25

9.

10

0
4.

3
4.

11

12

Marijuana

0
0.

.2
24

.3
30

.3

33

7
9.

0
4.

1
3.

Presc Drugs

0
0.

2
4.

1
6.
3
4.

% Students Who Have Used Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana &


Prescription Drugs in the Past 30 Days

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

0
0.

Washington, DC

Students Perception of Risk

Table 6: Perception of Risk of Alcohol Use


Grade
N of N of Moderate or
Level
Valid Miss
Great Risk
6th
26
0
73.1
7th
24
0
45.8
8th
24
0
54.2
9th
31
2
64.5
10th
32
1
93.8
11th
24
0
66.7
12th
31
1
67.7
6-8
74
0
58.1
9-12
118
4
73.7
Total
192
4
67.7

Table 5: Perception of Risk of Cigarette Use


Grade
N of N of Moderate or
Level
Valid Miss
Great Risk
6th
26
0
73.1
7th
24
0
58.3
8th
24
0
54.2
9th
31
2
51.6
10th
32
1
78.1
11th
24
0
83.3
12th
31
1
67.7
6-8
74
0
62.2
9-12
118
4
69.5
Total
192
4
66.7

Past analysis of national statistics indicates that as students perception of risk


increases, use of substances decreases. It is also typical for the perception of
risk as (Moderate Risk or Great Risk) to decrease as a child gets older. Your
students responses are detailed in the following tables.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Table 8: Perception of Risk of Presc Drugs Use


Grade
N of N of Moderate or
Level
Valid Miss
Great Risk
6th
25
1
60.0
7th
24
0
54.2
8th
24
0
50.0
9th
31
2
61.3
10th
32
1
84.4
11th
24
0
75.0
12th
31
1
64.5
6-8
73
1
54.8
9-12
118
4
71.2
Total
191
5
64.9

Table 7: Perception of Risk of Marijuana Use


Grade
N of N of Moderate or
Level
Valid Miss
Great Risk
6th
25
1
72.0
7th
24
0
50.0
8th
23
1
30.4
9th
31
2
58.1
10th
32
1
68.8
11th
24
0
50.0
12th
30
2
60.0
6-8
72
2
51.4
9-12
117
5
59.8
Total
189
7
56.6

Washington, DC

.3

58

.
51

Cigarette

.2

54

Source: Pride Surveys

.
73

.1

78

.3

83

.7

67

.
73

.8

45

Alcohol

.2

54

.5
64

.8
93

.
66

.7
67

.0

50

10

0
2.

11

12

Marijuana

.4

30

.1
58

.8
68

50

.0

.0
60

.0
60

.0
50

.0
75

Presc Drugs

.2
54

3
1.

.4
84

Perception of Risk of Using Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana &


Prescription Drugs As Moderate Risk or Great Risk

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

.5
64

Washington, DC

Perception of Parental Disapproval

Table 10: Perception of Parents Disapproval of Using Alcohol


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
26
0
92.3
7th
23
1
95.7
8th
24
0
100.0
9th
32
1
100.0
10th
32
1
87.5
11th
24
0
95.8
12th
32
0
100.0
6-8
73
1
95.9
9-12
120
2
95.8
Total
193
3
95.9

Table 9: Perception of Parents Disapproval of Using Tobacco


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
26
0
92.3
7th
24
0
95.8
8th
24
0
100.0
9th
32
1
96.9
10th
32
1
93.8
11th
24
0
100.0
12th
31
1
96.8
6-8
74
0
95.9
9-12
119
3
96.6
Total
193
3
96.4

Past analysis of national statistics indicates that students tend to perceive parents as feeling that students use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and prescription
drugs as Wrong or Very Wrong for all grade levels. Your students responses are
detailed in the following tables.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Table 12: Perception of Parents Disapproval of Using Presc Drugs


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
26
0
92.3
7th
24
0
91.7
8th
24
0
100.0
9th
31
2
93.5
10th
32
1
90.6
11th
24
0
91.7
12th
32
0
96.9
6-8
74
0
94.6
9-12
119
3
93.3
Total
193
3
93.8

Table 11: Perception of Parents Disapproval of Using Marijuana


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
26
0
92.3
7th
24
0
91.7
8th
23
1
95.7
9th
31
2
93.5
10th
31
2
90.3
11th
24
0
91.7
12th
32
0
96.9
6-8
73
1
93.2
9-12
118
4
93.2
Total
191
5
93.2

Washington, DC

9
6.

8
3.

Source: Pride Surveys

Tobacco

0
.8 1
5
.3 9
92

0
0.

0
0.

10

8
6.
.5
87

Alcohol

0
0
0. 00.
1

0
.7 1
5
.3 9
92

0.

0
.8 1
5
9

10

.5
93

11

12

.3 1.
90 9

Marijuana

.7

95
.7

91

10

92

.3

.9
96
92

.3
9

5
3.

7
.6 91.
90

Presc Drugs

.7

91

0
0.

10

.9
96

Perception That Parents Would Feel It To Be Wrong or Very


Wrong To Use Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana & Prescription Drugs

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Washington, DC

Perception of Friends Disapproval

Table 13: Perception of Friends Disapproval of Using Tobacco


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
26
0
88.5
7th
24
0
79.2
8th
24
0
91.7
9th
32
1
84.4
10th
33
0
87.9
11th
24
0
75.0
12th
32
0
87.5
6-8
74
0
86.5
9-12
121
1
84.3
Total
195
1
85.1

Past analysis of national statistics indicates that students tend to perceive peers
as feeling that students use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs
as Wrong or Very Wrong for all grade levels. However, this perception is typically
not as strong as the perception of disapproval from parents. Your students responses are detailed in the following tables.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

11

Table 15: Perception of Friends Disapproval of Using Marijuana


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
25
1
88.0
7th
24
0
70.8
8th
24
0
87.5
9th
32
1
68.8
10th
31
2
48.4
11th
24
0
50.0
12th
32
0
87.5
6-8
73
1
82.2
9-12
119
3
64.7
Total
192
4
71.4

Table 14: Perception of Friends Disapproval of Using Alcohol


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
25
1
80.0
7th
24
0
75.0
8th
24
0
91.7
9th
33
0
75.8
10th
33
0
78.8
11th
24
0
75.0
12th
31
1
93.5
6-8
73
1
82.2
9-12
121
1
81.0
Total
194
2
81.4

Washington, DC

Table 16: Perception of Friends Disapproval of Using Presc Drugs


Grade
N of N of
Wrong or
Level
Valid Miss Very Wrong
6th
25
1
92.0
7th
22
2
81.8
8th
24
0
95.8
9th
33
0
87.9
10th
33
0
93.9
11th
24
0
87.5
12th
31
1
93.5
6-8
71
3
90.1
9-12
121
1
90.9
Total
192
4
90.6

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

12

Washington, DC

.5

.
79

Tobacco

.9

7
4 8
4.

Source: Pride Surveys

88

.
91

.0

75

.5

87
0

.
80
.0

75

.8
8 78
.
75

Alcohol

.
91

.0

75

.5
93

13

.8

70

10

.0

88

.8
68

11

12

.0

.4 50
48

Marijuana

.5

87

.5
87

92

.0
.9

87

.9

93

.5
87

Presc Drugs

.8

81

95

.8

Perception That Friends Would Feel It To Be Wrong or Very


Wrong To Use Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana & Presc Drugs

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

.5
93

Washington, DC

Students Perception of Availability

Table 18: Perceived Availability of Alcohol


Grade
N of N of
Sort of Easy or
Level
Valid Miss Very Easy to Get
6th
26
0
15.4
7th
23
1
21.7
8th
24
0
25.0
9th
31
2
54.8
10th
31
2
41.9
11th
24
0
45.8
12th
31
1
19.4
6-8
73
1
20.5
9-12
117
5
40.2
Total
190
6
32.6

Table 17: Perceived Availability of Cigarettes


Grade
N of N of
Sort of Easy or
Level
Valid Miss Very Easy to Get
6th
24
2
12.5
7th
23
1
21.7
8th
23
1
39.1
9th
32
1
46.9
10th
32
1
40.6
11th
21
3
57.1
12th
32
0
31.3
6-8
70
4
24.3
9-12
117
5
42.7
Total
187
9
35.8

Past analysis of national statistics indicates that as students get older a larger
percentage of them tend to perceive tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and illicit drugs
(drugs like cocaine, LSD or amphetamines) as Sort of Easy or Very Easy to get.
Your students responses are detailed in the following tables.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

14

Table 20: Perceived Availability of Illicit Drugs


Grade
N of N of
Sort of Easy or
Level
Valid Miss Very Easy to Get
6th
25
1
16.0
7th
23
1
8.7
8th
23
1
8.7
9th
32
1
21.9
10th
29
4
31.0
11th
23
1
26.1
12th
31
1
12.9
6-8
71
3
11.3
9-12
115
7
22.6
Total
186
10
18.3

Table 19: Perceived Availability of Marijuana


Grade
N of N of
Sort of Easy or
Level
Valid Miss Very Easy to Get
6th
25
1
16.0
7th
23
1
26.1
8th
24
0
41.7
9th
32
1
65.6
10th
30
3
76.7
11th
24
0
50.0
12th
32
0
28.1
6-8
72
2
27.8
9-12
118
4
55.1
Total
190
6
44.7

Washington, DC

.5

Cigarettes

.
40

Source: Pride Surveys

12

.7

21

1
9.

9
6.

.1

57

.3

31

.4

15

.9
41

Alcohol

.0

5
7 2
1.

.8
54

.8

45

.4
19

15

10

.0

16

.1

26

11

12

Marijuana

.7

41

.6
65

.7
76

.0

50

.1
28

.0
16

7
8.

.9
21

.0
31

Illicit Drugs

7
8.

Perception That Tobacco, Alcohol, Marijuana and


Illicit Drugs Is Sort of Easy or Very Easy To Get

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

.1
26

.9
12

Washington, DC

Where Students Use

The following graphs show where students report using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Past analysis of national statistics show that At
School is typically the least popular place of use.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

16

Washington, DC

At Home

0.

3.

4.

0.

Source: Pride Surveys

.8

6.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

0.

0.

0.

At School

0.

8.

0.

0.

0
0.

0
0.

10

In A Car

0
0.

17

4.

11

0
0.

4.

0
0.

0
0.

2
4.

1
3.

12

Friend's House

.8

Where Do You Use Tobacco

8
3.

Other

0
0
0. 0.

0
3.

2
4.

0
0.

Washington, DC

0.

At Home

4.

.5

12

Source: Pride Surveys

7.

9.

21

.2

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

6.

0.

0.

0.

0.

At School

0.

0.

3.

0.

0
0.

0
0.

18

10

In A Car

0
0.

0
3.

2
4.

0
0.

11

0
0.

.1

12

.7
16

12

Friend's House

8
3.

3
8.

.2

15

Where Do You Use Alcohol

1
3.

7
7.

0
0.

Other

2
4.

.2 .2
15 15

.7
16

1
3.

Washington, DC

At Home

0.

6.

Source: Pride Surveys

0.

8.

.
12

.
20

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

6.

0.

0.

0.

0.

At School

4.

4.

0.

0.

0
0.

19

10

In A Car

0
0.

3.

6.

8.

0
0.

11

0
0.

.8
20

12

Friend's House

2
8 4.
3.

.1 .1
12 12

Where Do You Use Marijuana

1
3.

7
7.

2
4.

.1
12

Other

.5
12

.2

21

.7
16

1
3.

Washington, DC

4.

At Home

0.

3.

Source: Pride Surveys

.8

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

3.

4.
3

.8

0.

0.

At School

0.

0.

0
0.

.8
0
3.

0
0.

20

10

11

Friend's House

0
0.

4.

0
0.

Where Do You Use Presc Drugs

8
3.

0
0.

Other

0
0.

0
3.

0
0.

3
8.

Washington, DC

When Students Use

The following graphs show when students report using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. Past analysis of national statistics show that During
School is typically the least popular time of use.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

21

Washington, DC

Before School

0.

3.

Source: Pride Surveys

0.

4.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

0.

0.

0.

After School

0.

6.

0
0.

22

10

3.

0
0.

0
0.

11

Week Night

0
0.

When Do You Use Tobacco

4.

7
7.

0
3.

Weekend

0
0.

0
3.

2
4.

Washington, DC

0.

0.

0.

4.

Before School

0.

Source: Pride Surveys

0.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

0.

0.

0.

0.

After School

0.

0
3.

0.

9.

0
0.

0
3.

0
3.

11

12

Week Night

2
4.

23

10

11

.5

2
4.

When Do You Use Alcohol

0
0.

7
7.

0
0.

Weekend

3
8.

.3
30

.4

39

.2
29

1
3.

Washington, DC

0.

0.

Source: Pride Surveys

During School

0.

Before School

0.

3.
0

4.

0.

6.

9.

0.

0.

0
0.

6.

24

10

After School

8.

5
.1 12.
2
1

3
6.

11

0
0.

5
.1 12.
2
1

12

Week Night

8 4.2
3.

1
9.

When Do You Use Marijuana

4.

8.

.5 .5
12 12

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

1
3.

.5
11

Weekend

0
0.

2
4.

.2
21

.3
27

.2
29

1
3.

Washington, DC

0.

0.

Before School

0.

Source: Pride Surveys

8
3.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

0.

0.

0.

During School

0.

3.

0
0.

25

10

8
3.

0
0.

0
3.

11

Week Night

4.

0
0.

When Do You Use Presc Drugs

8
3.

0
0.

Weekend

0
0.

0
3.

.5
12

Washington, DC

The Pride Surveys

Helps write winning grants. Schools can match their data against the Pride
Surveys national database to indicate need for grant monies, or to indicate success in their drug education programs.

to measure most of their goals and objectives.

Washington, DC

Why Schools Use Pride Surveys

Data belong to the customer. Local data will not be released without written
permission from the customer (school official). Pride Surveys will use data to
build a national sample of data for an annual release to the public. The individual
school or state data is not identified in the release.

Evaluates most prevention goals and objectives. Changes in student behavior can be measured over time, allowing an individual school, system, or state

40-50 minutes to administer. School time is an important consideration. The


survey can be administered during a portion of only one class period.

26

Recognized by National News Media. On our website you will find print media from the Pride Survey and a press release following the Jonesboro, Arkansas
shooting at a local Jr. High school.

Designated by Federal Law as a measure of illicit drug use by youth. This


Anonymous, voluntary, protects pupil confidentiality. By following the inlaw can be reviewed in Congressional Record, October 19, 1998, Page H11228.
struction sheet for administering the questionnaire, the students confidentiality
(see www.Pridesurveys.com)
will be protected.

Report includes 120+ pages of tables, charts, and reports. With software
Used by more than 8,000 school systems. For more than two decades,
developed by Pride Surveys, we create tables, charts and special reports on varischools across the nation have used the Pride Survey to identify student levels
ables of special concern to schools and administrators. (Ex. One graph shows
of drug use, violence, and related behaviors.
drug use to occur most often on the weekend when schools are not in session.)

The following are some of the reasons school systems use Pride Surveys:

11

Meets most of the needs of evaluation required by the U.S. Department of


Education as expressed in ESEA legislation Principles of Effectiveness.
The requirement for information on: the incidence and prevalence, perception
of health risk, and perception of social disapproval of drug use and violence by
youth in schools and communities. Drug use and these related behaviors are
Other Pride Surveys that we hope you will consider for your assess- available through the use of the Pride Survey.
ment and evaluation needs are: Grade 5-6, Teaching Environment Survey,
Learning Environment Survey, Parent Engagement Survey and the CommuAllows multi-year comparisons of your data. The data is archived for 10
nity That Cares Youth Survey. Copies of the questionnaires are available on or more years and through our computer software the data can be compared
www.Pridesurveys.com and can be downloaded or you can call 1-800-279-6361 over multiple years of administrations. The multi-year analysis allows a school,
and we will send you copies for review.
system, or state to track the changes in data over extended periods of time by
sex, race, age, grade, and many other variables.

Since 1982, the Pride Surveys Questionnaire has been used by schools in all 50
states as well as US territories and several foreign countries to gather data on
student tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use and related behaviors. A decade ago
we added questions on violence to explore the relationship between students
who used various drugs and their violence. We now archive more than 8 million
completed questionnaires, making the Pride Surveys database on student drug
use and violence the largest in the world.

10

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

Remember to visit our website @ www.Pridesurveys.com


or give us a call @ 1-800-279-6361

Protection from negative or blaming reports of school administrators and


teachers for student drug use. Often we hear, "what are we going to do about
the schools drug problem", this statement needs to be followed with Pride Survey
data which indicates drug use is more likely to occur "at home" than "at school"
and drug use occurs most often on "weekends" and "at night" when school is not
in session. Teachers are more likely to teach students about the harmful effects
of drugs/alcohol than are parents. Not all students use drugs. This information
will be available to schools that choose Pride Surveys for data collection.

Lie detection system built into survey. When answers to questions are
indicating that the student is not being honest the software will eliminate the
questionnaire. Ex. If the student marks getting high when, and then denies use
of drugs, computer programs will eliminate the questionnaire from the data set.

National database for White, African American, and Hispanic students.


The only national database that is available on African American and Hispanic
students. Comparison of behaviors between races may be compared to the Pride
national database.

Independent evaluators used for instrument and methodology evaluation. Independent evaluators were utilized to test for reliability and validity
of the Pride Questionnaire. A copy of this evaluation can be obtained from
www.Pridesurveys.com under the validity hyperlink.

2012-13 Ward 7 Schools

27

NOTES:

Washington, DC

4645 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave, NE


Washington, DC 20019