It can be scary to think that your child might use alcohol or other drugs. It may help you to know that many parents share your fears. But don't let fear hold you back. Now is the time to do something. Children are being exposed to drugs at younger ages. Some parents want to believe that their young children have never tried drugs and won't ever develop a drug problem. The Facts are:
Children are pressured to use drugs . . .
1 in 4 children in 4th grade say there is peer pressure to use marijuana. Almost half of 6th graders report peer pressure to drink alcohol. Almost half of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders say they feel pressured to smoke cigarettes. 1 in 4 children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades feels pressured to use crack/cocaine. Children use drugs to fit in . . . 4 in 10 children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades say they would begin using alcohol to fit in and feel older. 4 in 10 children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades say they would use crack/cocaine to fit in and feel older.
Some children already use drugs . . .
2 percent of all 12th graders get high on marijuana every day. 13 percent of 8th graders and 30 percent of seniors had binged on alcohol (consumed 5 or more drinks in a row) in the 2 weeks just before the survey.
Drugs are available to children . . .
A recent study indicated that half of 11th and 12th graders said it would be easy to buy drugs at school. 80 percent of all 12th graders say it would be easy to get marijuana. Studies show that the younger a child is when he or she first uses alcohol, marijuana, or cigarettes, the more likely it is the child will have some type of drug abuse problem later in life. For more info visit www.health.org/wpkit/efs6.htm Youth Gangs in Schools (YGS Bulletin). August 2000. 8 pp. NCJ 183015.FREE. Presents results of analyses of gang-related data gathered by the 1995 School Crime Supplements (SCS). This Youth Gang Series Bulletin examines characteristics of gangs in schools, reasons for greater gang prevalence in some schools, and the impact of gangs on victimization at school. It also considers the involvement of gangs in three types of criminal activity: violence, drug sales, and carrying guns. More than one-third of students surveyed in the SCS reported gangs in their schools and more than two-thirds reported gang involvement in at least one type of criminal activity. The Bulletin concludes that existing school security measures are not sufficient; additional interventions are needed to combat gangs in schools. Howell, J.C., and Lynch, J.P. 2000 (August). Youth Gangs in Schools. YGS Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention1996 National Youth Gang Survey (Summary). 1999. 96 pp. NCJ 173964. FREE. Released: August 5, 1999. Presents findings of the 1996 National Youth Gang Survey, conducted by the National Youth Gang Center. The 1996 survey (which updates and expands upon a 1995 survey) was the largest of its type - results are based on a sample of more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies and are nationally representative. Survey results indicate that the youth gang problem is substantial and affects communities of all types. An estimated 30,818 gangs, with 846,428 members, were active in 4,824 jurisdictions during 1996. The report provides analysis and statistics on number, types, and locations of gangs; member demographics (age, sex, and race/ethnicity); and gang involvement in crime and drugs. Includes 36 tables, 19 figures, and extensive references. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention 1999. 1996 National Youth Gang Survey. Summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 2006 studies are expected to reveal growing numbers.