Keeping children away from drugs and alcohol is of the utmost priority; adolescent substance use can lead to a number of problems down the road – including addiction. While the first interaction with drugs and alcohol most often happens in high school, there are also a startling number of kids who have their first brush with drug use and addictive substances while in elementary school.
The Florida Department of Education (FDE), has released data indicating that 23 elementary schools across Central Florida reported at least one incident of drug use, sale or possession on campus between 2013-2014, WKMG reports. The incidents were self-reported by the schools to the state.
FDE data indicates that Orange County had the highest incident rates, with eight of the 23 schools in that county. There were 460 reported incidents of drug use or possession and 62 sales, according to the article. The second highest rates came from Volusia County, with 248 reported incidents of drug use or possession and 15 sales. Here you can review the data from our own Miami-Dade County.
While the data showed that the most common drug involved was marijuana, there was one report of prescription drug use and one of “other controlled substance” as well. Despite such incidents being isolated, it would seem that there is a fair chance there have been others who were not found out about.
Naturally, the use of drugs and alcohol in elementary school can continue among some in middle-school. The 2014 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey showed that nearly 17 percent of middle school students reported having tried an illicit drug, the article reports. The data showed:
- 7.9 percent smoking marijuana
- 8.1 percent trying inhalants
- 3.9 percent taking prescription opioids
Please take a moment to watch a short video on the aforementioned subject matter here.
If you have a child who appears to be experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol, please do not hesitate to reach out.