PRIDE Survey Indicates Increased Usage; American Attitudes Shift

Article excerpt

The annual survey of junior and senior high schools, conducted by the Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE) has been released in Atlanta, showing alarming upward trends in the use of alcohol and other drugs, and a major decline in the number of Americans who indicated that alcohol and other drugs are a major concern.

In junior high school (grades 6-8), the use of drugs rose in all ten categories surveyed: cigarettes, beer, wine coolers, liquor, marijuana, cocaine, uppers, downers, hallucinogens, and inhalants.

In high school, usage jumped in 7 of the 10 categories. It fell in three: wine coolers, marijuana, and cocaine.

"The 1991-92 data indicate a failure to adequately address the issue of drug use in America," commented Dr. Thomas J. Gleaton, president of PRIDE. "As we focus on other issues like the economy and politics, shifting our focus from drug epidemic, we should expect an increase in the use of alcohol and drugs by our youth." Gleaton pointed to a U.S. News & World Report story (8/17/92) which reported that 64% of Americans in 1989 said that drugs the nation's number one problem. Only 2% said the same in 1992.

The following is a comparison of the 1990-91 vs. 1991-92 survey results:

High School Students (grades 9-12)

        An increase in usage in the               A decrease in the
        following categories:                     following categories:
                        Beer, up 1%;                        Wine Coolers, down 3
%
                        Liquor, up 3%;                      Marijuana, Down 3%
                        Uppers, up 9%                       Cocaine, down 3%
                        Downers, up 7%
                        Inhalants, up 10%
                        Hallucinogens, up 8%
                        Cigarettes. …