Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health      

kidsdata advisory

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | April 8, 2015

Students Report on Use of Alcohol, Marijuana, Cigarettes, Recreational Use of Prescription Meds

Nearly 40 percent (38.3) of surveyed California 11th-graders reported using alcohol or illegal drugs in the month prior to responding to the survey, according to 2011-13 data newly available on

The survey, administered to public school students in grades 7, 9, 11, and non-traditional students, offers students’ own responses regarding their consumption of alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and prescription drugs for recreation, among other topics.

Alcohol use tops the list, with 22 percent of all respondents reporting alcohol consumption in the prior month, 14 percent reporting binge drinking on at least one day, and 22 percent of older students saying that they had driven while drinking or ridden in a car with a driver who had been drinking on at least one occasion.

Eight percent of respondents said they had smoked cigarettes in the month prior to the survey. Recreational use of prescription drugs at any time in their lives was reported by 17 percent of older students. Fourteen percent of girls and 18 percent of boys indicated that they had smoked marijuana in the past month.

The new data set also includes results from a survey of staff views on substance abuse at school, with 20 percent reporting that alcohol and drug use is a "moderate" problem and 6 percent saying it is a "severe" problem.

The student data and the staff responses vary widely by school district throughout the state.

To see data for your district, please visit any of the following links and locate your district within its parent county in the region selector.

Related Data:

Helpful Links

California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (Cal-Schls) System, California Department of Education and WestEd

California Health Interview Survey, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

School Policies, School Connection, and Adolescents: What Predicts Young Adult Substance Use?, 2014, Child Trends, Moore, K., et al.

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Alcohol/Drug Use in Past Month (Student Reported), by Grade Level
Years: 2011-2013
Student Response: Any

Alcohol/Drug Use in Past Month Mascots is a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation of Children's Health, which uses data to promote the health and well being of children.
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