Teen drug and alcohol use down
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute say the number of teens using drugs and alcohol is down. YNN'S Jon Dougherty tells us about the new numbers and how area schools are planning on using the data.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's good news for Erie County and across the rest of the country. Teen alcohol, tobacco, and other drug rates continue to drop.
"Pretty much across the board, there's great news," said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Hyland of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
In a survey last year, researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute found less 9th graders used alcohol, drugs or tobacco. That’s a significant drop in the last four years.
"Really to get a dipstick on how prevalent are these problems among young people," said Hyland.
The most substantial decrease was with smoking, which according to the survey, was down 25 percent among the nearly 3,000 students anonymously questioned in Erie County. Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Andrew Hyland says that can be attributed to several things such as the high cost of cigarettes in New York state, not being able smoke in public restaurant and yet another pending cigarette tax.
Hyland said, "All those things are in place to sort of de-normalize tobacco use."
Alcohol remained the most commonly used drug. 28 percent of the 9th graders questioned reported having an alcoholic drink within 30 days of the survey. That’s down 32 percent since the last survey in 2005.
"It's trending in the right direction. Great progress," Hyland said.
The results of the survey will be used by local schools to help find effective ways to curb drug use.
Dr. Hyland says despite the promising numbers work is far from over and will only end when the number of students using drugs or alcohol comes back to zero percent.