Drug Use Among Adolescents
Lifetime use of cough/cold medicines without a prescription was higher among Vietnamese students (20%) than among Whites (13%), similar to levels among all Asian/Pacific Islanders (18%), and students in the county overall (19%), and slightly lower than among Hispanic (23%) or African American (24%) students. Lifetime use of marijuana was two to three times lower among Vietnamese students (11%) than among students in the county as a whole (22%) and students from all other major racial/ethnic groups (Whites, 22%; African Americans, 31%; Hispanics, 32%) except all Asian/Pacific Islanders (11%). Lifetime use of inhalants and ecstasy among Vietnamese students (8% for both drugs) was similar to levels among Whites (8% for both drugs) and all Asian/Pacific Islanders (7% and 6%, respectively), as well as among students in the county as a whole (10% for both drugs). However, use of inhalants and ecstasy was lower among Vietnamese than Hispanic (15% and 13%, respectively) or African American (14% and 15%, respectively) students.
Alcohol and Cigarette Use Among Youth
In 2009-10, Latino/Hispanic middle and high school students reported higher rates of current and lifetime (at least once) cigarette use than any other racial/ethnic group in the county. Since 2001-02, current smoking among Latino/Hispanic students has changed little (11% in 2001-02, 12% in 2009-10) but has consistently been higher than among Whites, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and students countywide (see table online for trends for all racial/ethnic groups at www.sccphd.org/statistics2).
In 2009-10, lifetime alcohol use among Latino/Hispanic middle and high school students (49%) was higher than that for Whites (38%), African Americans (40%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (23%), and the county overall (36%).(33) Lifetime marijuana use among Latino/Hispanic middle and high school students (32%) was also higher than that for Whites (22%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (11%), and students in the county overall (22%), and similar to that of African Americans (31%).
Marijuana Youth Prevention
(From the Santa Clara County Department of Alcohol and Drugs Services)
In Santa Clara County, marijuana is an issue that all age groups. However, there is a particular focus on youth prevention due to the following facts:
- More than 60% of high school seniors report that they don’t view marijuana as harmful to them. Research has shown that the less risky a child believes a drug to be, the more likely s/he will use
- 6.5% of high school seniors are daily or near daily marijuana users
- The younger youth were when they started using marijuana heavily, the more abnormally their brain regions were shaped, with the potential for the permanent loss of 6-8 IQ points
- Numerous studies have found a link between teen marijuana use and psychosis or schizophrenia
- Youth that smoke marijuana every weekend for two years are almost six times more likely to drop out of high school than nonsmokers, more than three times less likely to enter college than nonsmokers, and more than four times less likely to earn a college degree
- Of the 12th graders who say they have used marijuana in the previous 12 months and who reside in states that have marijuana use laws, 34% say that one of their sources of marijuana is another person’s medical marijuana recommendation. Six percent say they get it from their own recommendation.