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TEXAS SCHOOL SURVEY OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

PADUCAH ISD

SECONDARY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OVERVIEW

In the Spring of 1996, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, in conjunction with
the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, administered a survey to students
in grades 9 through 12 in the Paducah Independent School District (PISD). A total of 98
students completed the questionnaire, which asked about students' experiences with alcohol and
drugs. Of that number, 5 surveys were excluded from analysis because students did not indicate
their grade or age, or because they were identified as exaggerators (i.e., claimed to have used a
non-existent drug or reported overly excessive drug use). The final number of surveys included
in the overall district analysis was 93.1

Students' responses to the questionnaire indicate that:

•Sixty-nine percent of Paducah ISD students reported using tobacco at least once during
their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 40 percent said they had used tobacco during the past
month (Fig. 2).

•Thirteen percent of Paducah ISD students said they smoke cigarettes on a daily basis,
while 10* percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily basis.2

•Eighty-five percent of Paducah ISD students said they had used alcohol at least once
during their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 51 percent reported using alcohol during the
past month (Fig. 2).

•Forty* percent of Paducah ISD students said they had driven a car at least once during
the past year after having "a good bit to drink" (Fig. 11).

1
The percentages referred to in the executive summary were taken from the tables found in "Part I: District
Survey Results." Due to the differences in rounding procedures, there may be slight discrepancies between the
percentages referred to in the tables and those reflected in the executive summary and in the corresponding
figures. Figures referenced throughout this report are included in "Part III: Executive Summary."

2
Data in this report marked with an asterisk are estimated to be statistically significant at the .01 level from
the comparable data for the state as a whole. This means that in only one of a hundred samples would a
difference this large have occurred when there was no difference between the district and state data. Differences
in very small districts will seldom be statistically significant due to the small number of cases. Differences that
are not marked may be important, but should be treated with more caution than those that are statistically
significant.

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•Lifetime use of inhalants was reported by 15 percent of Paducah ISD students (Fig. 1),
while past-month inhalant use was reported by 8 percent (Fig. 2).

•Twenty-eight percent of Paducah ISD students reported using marijuana at least once
during their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 19 percent said they had used marijuana during
the past month (Fig. 2).

•Paducah ISD students are most likely to turn to friends for help with a drug or alcohol
problem (82 percent) and least likely to consult a counselor or program in school
(17* percent) (Fig. 17).

Tobacco

Over the last two years, the general use of tobacco (including cigarettes and smokeless products)
among 9th through 12th grade students statewide has increased slightly.3 Overall, the general use
of tobacco products among Paducah ISD students, especially with regard to the smokeless
variety, is somewhat higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide.

Sixty-nine percent of Paducah students reported general tobacco use at least once during their
lifetimes, compared to 60 percent of students statewide (Fig. 1). 4 Forty percent of Paducah ISD
students said they had used a tobacco product during the past month (30 percent statewide) (Fig.
2).

Sixty-five percent of Paducah students reported smoking cigarettes at least once during their
lifetimes (58 percent statewide), and 37 percent said they had smoked cigarettes during the past
month (28 percent statewide), rates somewhat higher than those reported by students statewide.
Smoking cigarettes on a daily basis was reported by 13 percent of district students (11 percent
statewide), and 32 percent said their close friends smoke cigarettes (24 percent statewide).

Lifetime use of smokeless tobacco products was reported by 34* percent of PISD students (19
percent statewide), while 16* percent said they had used a smokeless tobacco product during the
past month (5 percent statewide), and 10* percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product
on a daily basis (2 percent statewide), rates higher than those reported by their peers statewide.
Fifteen percent of district students said most or all of their close friends use smokeless tobacco (6
percent statewide).

Alcohol

3
Statewide data is collected every other year. The statewide data used for comparison purposes in the district
report and executive summary is taken from the results of the survey administered in the Spring of 1996.

4
Due to the small number of students surveyed in this district, no between-grade comparisons can be made.

2
Alcohol is the most widely used substance among students statewide and in the Paducah ISD.
Alcohol use among 9th through 12th grade students statewide has decreased slightly from that
reported two years ago. Overall, Paducah ISD students are drinking alcohol at rates higher than
those reported by their peers statewide.

Eighty-five percent of Paducah students reported consuming alcohol at least once during their
lifetimes (80 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Fifty-one percent of Paducah ISD students said they
had consumed alcohol during the past month, in contrast to the 43 percent reported by students
statewide (Fig. 2).

The alcoholic beverages most often consumed by Paducah students are beer (78* percent/63
percent statewide) and wine coolers (73 percent/66 percent statewide). Sixty* percent of PISD
students said they drink beer on a weekly or monthly basis, a rate considerably higher than that
reported by students statewide (38 percent). Thirty-two percent of district students said they
drink wine coolers weekly or monthly (35 percent statewide).

"Binge drinking" is the consumption of five or more beers, wine coolers, servings of wine, or
drinks with liquor at one time. PISD students are "binge drinking" beer and, to a lesser extent,
wine coolers at rates higher than those reported by their counterparts statewide. Fifty-nine*
percent of Paducah ISD students reported "binge drinking" beer at least once during their
lifetimes (43 percent statewide), while 42* percent said they usually drink five or more beers at a
time on average when they drink (23 percent statewide). Lifetime "binge drinking" of wine
coolers was reported by 51 percent of PISD students (45 percent statewide), while 27 percent
said they usually drink five or more wine coolers at a time on average when they drink (21
percent statewide).

Thirteen percent of Paducah students reported attending at least one class during the past school
year while "drunk" (10 percent statewide) (Fig. 9). Forty* percent of PISD students said that
they had driven a car after having "a good bit to drink" at least once during the past year, nearly
three times the rate reported by students statewide (15 percent). Driving while intoxicated four
or more times during the past year was reported by 16* percent of district 9th through 12th
graders, four times the rate reported by students statewide (4 percent) (Fig. 11).

Students were asked about the availability of alcohol, its use among friends, and its use at parties.
Ninety-one percent of Paducah ISD students said beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor were
somewhat easy or very easy to obtain (83 percent statewide). Sixty-nine* percent of district
students reported most or all of their close friends drink alcohol (45 percent statewide), and 63*
percent responded "from friends" when asked where they obtained alcohol most of the time or
always (47 percent statewide), rates higher than those reported by students statewide.
"Difficulties of any kind" with friends because of one's own drinking was reported by 22 percent
of PISD students (11 percent statewide).

Seventy-four* percent of Paducah students said alcohol was used at most or all of the parties
they attended in the past school year (49 percent statewide) (Fig. 13), and 67* percent of district
students responded "at parties" when asked where they obtain alcohol most of the time or always

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(51 percent statewide), rates considerably higher than those reported by their peers statewide.
Seventeen percent of PISD students said they get alcohol "from the store" most of the time or
always (22 percent statewide).

Students were asked how many days during the school year they were absent from class due to
an illness or for some other reason, and how many days they had gotten into trouble because of
conduct or attitude problems. Fewer PISD students who had not been absent since the Fall
reported having used alcohol during the past month (14 percent/30 percent statewide) than did
district students who said they had missed four or more days of school (60 percent/50 percent
statewide). Seventy-one percent of Paducah ISD students who had experienced difficulties with
school officials on four or more days reported using alcohol during the past 30 days (67 percent
statewide). By contrast, only 36 percent of district students who had not experienced difficulties
with school officials because of conduct problems had used alcohol within the past 30 days (30
percent statewide).

Parental attitudes can be a major factor in whether or not a student uses alcohol or drugs. When
asked how their parents feel about kids their age drinking beer, 72 percent of Paducah students
said their parents strongly or mildly disapprove (75 percent statewide), and 14 percent said their
parents neither approve nor disapprove (13 percent statewide). Seven percent of district students
said they "don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age drinking beer (7 percent
statewide) (Fig. 15).

Inhalants5

In general, inhalants are common, licit substances (paints, thinners, correction fluid, glue, etc.)
which, when sniffed, huffed, or inhaled, produce an intoxicating effect. Over the last two years,
use of inhalants among 9th through 12th grade students statewide has stayed about the same.
Overall, Paducah ISD students are using inhalants at rates somewhat similar to those reported by
their counterparts statewide.

Fifteen percent of Paducah students reported using inhalants at least once during their lifetimes
(18 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Eight percent of Paducah ISD students said they had used
inhalants during the past month (3 percent statewide) (Fig. 2).

Two percent of PISD students reported most or all of their close friends use inhalants (2 percent
statewide), and 1 percent said they had attended at least one class during the past school year
while "high" on inhalants (3 percent statewide). Eight percent of PISD students said they had
used two or more different kinds of inhalant substances during their lifetimes (10 percent
statewide).

5
Lifetime and current inhalant use figures have been adjusted to reflect reported use of both specific inhalants
and inhalant use generally. Some students responded positive to specific use without responding positive to
generic use. Some students responded positive to generic use but not specific inhalants.

4
The inhalant substance most frequently used by Paducah students was correction fluid/Liquid
Paper (12 percent/8 percent statewide). Seven percent of district students said they had inhaled
glue (4 percent statewide), 7 percent reported inhaling gasoline (5 percent statewide), 6 percent
reported inhaling substances in the "other inhalants" category (6 percent statewide), 6 percent
reported inhaling substances in the "other sprays" category (2 percent statewide), 5 percent said
they had inhaled liquid/spray paint (6 percent statewide), and 5 percent said they had inhaled
paint thinner (5 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes (Fig. 7).

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are defined as controlled substances and include marijuana, cocaine (powdered form
and crack), uppers (stimulants), downers (narcotics), hallucinogens, and ecstasy. Over the last
two years, the use of illicit drugs among 9th through 12th grade students statewide has increased.
The use of marijuana, the most frequently used illicit substance, has also increased among 9th
through 12th graders statewide over the last two years.

In the Paducah ISD, 30 percent of students reported use of illicit drugs at least once during their
lifetimes (40 percent statewide), while 24 percent of PISD students said they had used one or
more illicit substances three or more times (30 percent statewide), rates somewhat lower than
those reported by students statewide. Statewide, students who said they had used illicit drugs
reported using them an average of 2.7 times in the past 30 days and 8.2 times during their lives.
Paducah students reported average usage rates of 2.4 times in the past month and 6.4 times
during their lifetimes.

Twenty-eight percent of PISD students reported using marijuana at least once in their lifetimes, a
rate somewhat lower than that reported by students statewide (37 percent) (Fig. 1). Past-month
marijuana use was reported by 19 percent of Paducah ISD students (19 percent statewide) (Fig.
2).

Eight percent of PISD students reported attending at least one class in the past year while
"stoned" on marijuana (14 percent statewide) (Fig. 10). Driving under the influence of drugs at
least once during the past year was reported by 18 percent of Paducah ISD grade students (12
percent statewide).

Sixty-one percent of PISD students said marijuana was somewhat or very easy to obtain (64
percent statewide). Twelve* percent reported most or all of their close friends smoke marijuana,
half the rate reported by students statewide (25 percent). Seven percent of district students said
they had gotten into "difficulties of any kind" with their friends because of their own drug use (7
percent statewide). Thirty-two percent of the Paducah ISD students said that marijuana and/or
other drugs were used at most or all of the parties they attended during the school year (29
percent statewide).

Fewer Paducah ISD students who had not been absent since the Fall reported having used
marijuana during the past month (14 percent/11 percent statewide) than did district students who

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said they had missed four or more days of school (23 percent/23 percent statewide). Four
percent of PISD students who had not gotten into trouble with school officials reported using
marijuana within the past 30 days (8 percent statewide). By contrast, 50 percent of district
students who had gotten into trouble with school officials on four or more days reported using
marijuana during the past 30 days (42 percent statewide).

When asked about parental attitudes toward marijuana use, Paducah students reported a
disapproval rate of 92 percent (86 percent statewide). Five percent of district students said they
"don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age using marijuana (6 percent statewide),
while 2 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (5 percent statewide) (Fig. 15).

Other illicit substances are used by a smaller number of Paducah ISD students. Uppers are the
next most frequently used illicit substance among district students (9 percent/10 percent
statewide). Four percent of PISD students said they had used hallucinogens (10 percent
statewide), 4 percent reported using downers (7 percent statewide), 3 percent said they had used
powdered cocaine (8 percent statewide), 3 percent reported using ecstasy (7 percent statewide),
and 1 percent reported using crack (3 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes.
None of the district students said they had ever used steroids (2 percent statewide), (Fig. 1).

CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG USE

Statewide, female students were somewhat less likely to have used drugs than were male
students. In the Paducah ISD, however, female students were somewhat more likely to have
smoked marijuana or used powdered cocaine, nearly twice as likely to have used inhalants, and
over three times more likely to have used uppers than were district male students. In addition,
PISD female students were the only reported users of crack, hallucinogens, or downers in the
district. There were no other significant differences by gender among Paducah ISD students with
regard to the use of tobacco products, alcohol, or ecstasy.

In the statewide survey, students living in two-parent homes reported lower drug use than did
students living in other family situations. PISD students living in other family situations were
nearly three times more likely to have used inhalants than were those district students living in
homes with two parents. On the other hand, Paducah students living in two-parent homes were
the only reported users of crack, hallucinogens, or downers in the district. There were no other
significant differences by living arrangement among Paducah ISD students with regard to the use
of tobacco products, alcohol, marijuana, powdered cocaine, uppers, or ecstasy.

When asked where they would go for help with a drug or alcohol problem, the largest percentage
of Paducah students said they would seek help from their friends (82 percent/78 percent
statewide). Fifty-eight percent of PISD students said they would seek help from an adult friend
or relative (58 percent statewide), and 47 percent said they would turn to their parents (52
percent statewide). District students are least likely to seek help for a drug or alcohol problem
from a counselor or program in school (17* percent), nearly half the rate reported by students
statewide (30 percent) (Fig. 17). Since school began in the Fall, 4 percent of Paducah students

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reported seeking help for any problems connected with alcohol or drug use from someone other
than family or friends (6 percent statewide).

Ninety-one* percent of Paducah ISD students said they had gotten information about drugs and
alcohol from a school source since classes began in the Fall, compared to 73 percent of students
statewide. "An assembly program" was reported by 86* percent of district students as a source
for information about drugs and alcohol (40 percent statewide), while 66* percent said "an
invited school guest" was a source for this information (34 percent statewide), nearly double the
rates reported by their counterparts statewide. Forty percent of PISD students reported getting
information about drugs and alcohol from a "health class" (47 percent statewide).

The influence of drug education programs may be reflected in students' attitudes toward the use
of specific substances. Eighty-seven percent of Paducah students believe that crack use is "very
dangerous" (90 percent statewide), and 83 percent believe that powdered cocaine use is "very
dangerous" (87 percent statewide). Seventy-two percent of PISD students believe that inhalant
use is "very dangerous" (77 percent statewide). Sixty-nine* percent of district students believe
that marijuana use is "very dangerous," a rate higher than that reported by students statewide (54
percent). By contrast, the perceived danger of alcohol and tobacco use is lower. Forty-six
percent of PISD students feel that it is "very dangerous" to use alcohol (42 percent statewide).
Fifteen* percent of Paducah students believe that tobacco use is "very dangerous," less than half
the rate reported by students statewide (34 percent) (Fig. 13).