Pubdate: Wed, 10 Jan 2007
Source: Press Journal  (Vero Beach, FL)
Copyright: 2007, The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Kelly Tyko


STUART -- Martin County teenagers are less likely to have drank a 
beer, smoked a cigarette or used illicit drugs in the past 30 days 
than they were two years ago, according to a biennial state survey 
released this week.

However, they are more likely to have smoked marijuana in the past 
month, the results of the 2006 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey 
show. In spring, 832 Martin County students took the survey. More 
than 57,000 questionnaires were answered across the state.

"Certainly, there's more work that needs to be done," Martin County 
Schools Superintendent Sara Wilcox said. "I'm pleased to see the improvement."

Students in grades six through 12 were picked randomly, and the 
survey was anonymous and confidential.

In 2000, 2002, 2004 and spring of 2006, data from just about every 
Florida school district was calculated in detail. On odd years, the 
survey is given on a smaller scale to give the state a sample.

The survey asks students whether they've used alcohol, tobacco and 
marijuana in their lifetime or within the past 30 days. Students also 
were asked if they ever binge drink -- which is drinking five or more 
alcoholic beverages in a sitting.

While many of the results are higher than the state average, Robyn 
Vanover, coordinator of Martin County's Safe and Drug Schools 
program, is glad to see the county's drug use is continuing on a 
downward trend.

"At one point in time over the last six years we were one of the 
highest ranking counties as far as 30-day alcohol use. There are now 
21 counties in front of us," Vanover said.

The number of students who admitted to smoking cigarettes in the past 
30 days has declined from 24.2 percent in 2000 to 10.6 this year. In 
this category, Martin meets the state average.


Curriculums such as Alcohol Edu, Project Northland, Reconnecting 
Youth and Discovery Health Connection

Parent awareness campaigns, including, "Parents Who Host Lose The Most"

Mothers Against Drunk Driving local chapter

Anti-drug, anti-smoking clubs in schools
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