Louisiana high school students among the nation's most likely to use drugs

High schoolers getting high on school grounds

Don Ames
July 22, 2019 - 9:22 am

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According to a recent study by Project Know, Louisiana pupils are among the most likely in the nation to take drugs in high school.

American Addiction Centers researcher, Ruchi Dhami says, not only are state high schoolers taking drugs in high school...they're using them at school.

"28.5 percent of Louisiana high school students admitted to using illegal drugs on school grounds," says Dhami. The national average is 22.9 percent.

Project Know analyzed Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data to present a state breakdown of alcohol, marijuana and injected drug abuse among teens.

Dhami says about 34 percent of Louisiana pupils admit to consuming alcohol at school...the highest rate in the country. 20 percent of the students interviewed admitted to binge drinking in the previous 30 days. 

"And when we looked at illegal drugs that are delivered by injection, like heroin...again, Louisiana had the highest state percentage of about 8 percent, whereas the national average is 2.7 percent. 

Louisiana's high schoolers are ranked 4th highest in the nation for having used cocaine in their lifetime. 18 percent report the use of illicit use of prescription drugs in their lifetime. When it comes to marijuana use, 18.8% of Louisiana's high school teens were found to have consumed marijuana at some point, slightly below the national average. But, one-fifth of Louisiana high schoolers regularly use marijuana.

Dhami says contributing factors to drug use are easy access to drugs, peer pressure, and family environment. And, she says drugs are much too easily accessible in Louisiana.

"According to the CDC, in 2017 there were more drug overdose deaths than homicides or firearm deaths in Louisiana," says Dhami.

Read the entire Project Know report here:

https://www.projectknow.com/discover/high-school-drug-and-alcohol-use-ac...

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