2009 Search Institute Survey
After going out into the community and speak with citizens about the efforts of the Milford Prevention Council, a common question asked is about what the youth substance abuse problem looks like in the city of MILFORD. Parents and concerned community members are aware of the national statistics, what they hear on the news and through word of mouth, but people want to know what the problem truly looks like in the city of Milford. This is an important question to ask and it is part of the Milford Prevention Council mission to use multiple data collection strategies to paint a clear picture of the youth substance abuse problem. Here is what we found in the survey conducted in 2009 of the 7th, 9th, and 11th grade Milford students: click here for a link to the survey.
Alcohol Remains Drug of Choice for Milford Teens
Alcohol remains the leading drug problem among our nation's youth and is the drug of choice for young people, with earlier and earlier initiation of consumption, not uncommonly found in children as young as 11 or 12 years of age. Of the 1, 151 youth who participated in the 2009 Search Institute Profiles of Student Life Survey, alcohol is clearly the first substance that is used; 28% of 7th graders stated they had a drink prior to age 12 compared to 5% for cigarettes and 3% for marijuana. Consistent with these data, only slightly more than one-fourth of 11th graders stated they had never had a drink compared to 74% for tobacco and 63% for marijuana. The critical time for onset of first use is 13 – 16. For all three substances, among 11th graders, there is a significant increase in usage during this age period.
In addition to the Four Core Measures, the Search Institute survey asks a wide range of questions. Some of the key findings from the 2009 survey are:
- 5% of 7th graders, 15 % of 9th graders and 34 % of 11th graders reported getting drunk once or more in the last two weeks
- 15 % of 11th graders reported driving after drinking once or more in the last 12 months
- 27% of 7th graders, 35% of 9th graders and 37% of 11th graders reported having rode (once or more in the last 12 months) with a driver who had been drinking
- 55% of the students who reported using alcohol in the past 30 days had only 0-10 assets. (The average number for all youth in the survey was 19.6.)