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TEXAS SCHOOL SURVEY OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

GAINESVILLE ISD

SECONDARY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OVERVIEW

In the Spring of 1995, 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 8, 10, and 12 in the Gainesville Independent School District (GISD). A total
of 411 students completed the questionnaire, which asked about students' experiences with
alcohol and drugs. Of that number, 43 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 368.1

Students' responses to the questionnaire indicate that:

•Fifty-two percent of Gainesville ISD students reported using tobacco at least once
during their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 27 percent said they had used tobacco during
the past month (Fig. 2).

•Six percent of Gainesville ISD students said they smoke cigarettes on a daily basis,
while 4 percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily basis.

•Seventy-six percent of Gainesville ISD students said they had used alcohol at least
once during their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 40 percent reported using alcohol during
the past month (Fig. 2).

•Eleven percent of Gainesville ISD students reported attending at least one class during
the past year while "drunk," and 29* percent of district 10th and 12th grade
students said they had driven a car at least once during the past year after having
"a good bit to drink."2

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.

1
•Lifetime use of inhalants was reported by 20 percent of Gainesville ISD students (Fig.
1), while past-month inhalant use was reported by 5 percent (Fig. 2).

•Twenty-five percent of Gainesville ISD students reported using marijuana at least once
during their lifetimes (Fig. 1), and 14 percent said they had used marijuana
during the past month (Fig. 2).

•Gainesville ISD students are most likely to turn to friends for help with a drug or
alcohol problem (73 percent) and least likely to consult another adult in school,
such as a nurse or teacher (28 percent) (Fig. 17).

Tobacco

Between 1992 and 1994, the general use of tobacco (including cigarettes and smokeless
products) among students statewide stayed much the same. 3 Overall, the general use of tobacco
products among Gainesville ISD students is somewhat similar to that reported by their
counterparts statewide.

Fifty-two percent of Gainesville students reported general tobacco use at least once during their
lifetimes (57 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Lifetime tobacco use was reported by 51 percent of
district 8th graders (52 percent statewide). Forty-five* percent of GISD 10th graders reported
lifetime tobacco use, a rate lower than that reported by their peers statewide (60 percent).
Sixty-four percent of district 12th grade students said they had used a tobacco product at least
once during their lifetimes (63 percent statewide).

Twenty-seven percent of Gainesville ISD students said they had used a tobacco product during
the past month (26 percent statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month general tobacco use was reported by
22 percent of GISD 8th grade students (23 percent statewide) and 24 percent of district 10th
grade students (27 percent statewide). Thirty-seven percent of GISD 12th graders said they had
used a tobacco product during the past month, a rate somewhat higher than that reported by
12th graders statewide (31 percent).

Forty-nine percent of Gainesville students reported smoking cigarettes at least once during their
lifetimes, a rate somewhat lower than that reported by their counterparts statewide (55 percent).
Twenty-three percent of district students said they had smoked cigarettes during the past month
(24 percent statewide). Smoking cigarettes on a daily basis was reported by 6 percent of district
students (8 percent statewide). The highest rate of daily cigarette use was reported by GISD
12th graders (10 percent/12 percent statewide). Nineteen percent of Gainesville ISD students
said most or all of their close friends smoke cigarettes (21 percent statewide).

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 1994.

2
Lifetime use of smokeless tobacco products was reported by 23 percent of GISD students (19
percent statewide), while 10 percent said they had used a smokeless tobacco product during the
past month (6 percent statewide). Using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily basis was
reported by 4 percent of district students (2 percent statewide), while 11* percent said most or
all of their close friends use smokeless tobacco (6 percent statewide).

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most widely used substance among students statewide and in the Gainesville
ISD. Alcohol use among secondary students in 1994 was similar to that reported in 1992.
Overall, Gainesville ISD students are drinking alcohol at rates somewhat similar to those
reported by their peers statewide.

Seventy-six percent of Gainesville students reported consuming alcohol at least once during
their lifetimes (78 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Lifetime alcohol use was reported by 64 percent
of GISD 8th graders (69 percent statewide) and 79 percent of district 10th graders (81 percent
statewide). Ninety-three percent of GISD 12th grade students said they had consumed alcohol
at least once during their lifetimes, a rate somewhat higher than that reported by students
statewide (86 percent) (Fig. 3).

Forty percent of Gainesville ISD students said they had consumed alcohol during the past
month (42 percent statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month alcohol use was reported by 32 percent of
district 8th grade students (34 percent statewide) and 41 percent of GISD 10th grade students
(45 percent statewide). Fifty-two percent of district 12th graders said they had consumed
alcohol during the past month, the same rate reported by 12th graders statewide (Fig. 4).

The alcoholic beverages most often consumed by Gainesville students are beer (63 percent/63
percent statewide) and wine coolers (63 percent/64 percent statewide). Forty percent of GISD
students said they drink beer on a weekly or monthly basis (40 percent statewide), and 36
percent said they drink wine coolers weekly or monthly (36 percent statewide).

"Binge drinking" is the consumption of five or more beers, wine coolers, servings of wine, or
drinks with liquor at one time. Forty-five percent of Gainesville ISD students reported "binge
drinking" beer at least once during the past year (42 percent statewide). Thirty-one* percent of
district students said they usually drink five or more beers at a time on average when they drink,
a rate somewhat higher than that reported by their peers statewide (22 percent). Past-year
"binge drinking" of wine coolers was reported by 41 percent of GISD students (43 percent
statewide). Twenty-eight* percent of district students said they usually drink five or more wine
coolers at a time on average when they drink, a rate somewhat higher than that reported by their
counterparts statewide (20 percent).

Eleven percent of Gainesville students reported attending at least one class during the past
school year while "drunk" (10 percent statewide). Attending class while "drunk" was reported

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by 11 percent of GISD 8th graders (10 percent statewide), 9 percent of GISD 10th graders (11
percent statewide), and 12 percent district 12th graders (10 percent statewide) (Figs. 9a and 9b).

Twenty-nine* percent of GISD 10th and 12th grade students said that they had driven a car
after having "a good bit to drink" at least once during the past year, compared to 18 percent of
10th and 12th grade students statewide. Driving while intoxicated was reported by 16 percent
of district 10th grade students (11 percent statewide). Forty-five* percent of Gainesville 12th
grade students reported having driven while intoxicated, a rate higher than that reported by their
counterparts statewide (26 percent). Driving while intoxicated four or more times during the
past year was reported by 6 percent of district 9th through 12th graders (5 percent statewide)
(Fig. 11).

Students were asked about the availability of alcohol, its use among friends, and its use at
parties. Eighty-two percent of Gainesville ISD students said beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor
were somewhat easy or very easy to obtain (80 percent statewide). Fifty-one percent of district
students reported most or all of their close friends drink alcohol, a rate somewhat higher than
that reported by their peers statewide (44 percent). Forty-six percent of district students
responded "from friends" when asked where they obtained alcohol most of the time or always
(44 percent statewide). "Difficulties of any kind" with friends because of one's own drinking
was reported by 16* percent of GISD students, a rate somewhat higher than that reported by
students statewide (10 percent).

Fifty-one percent of Gainesville students said alcohol was used at most or all of the parties they
attended in the past school year, compared to 44 percent of students statewide. Alcohol use at
most or all parties was reported by 31 percent of Gainesville 8th graders, a rate somewhat
higher than that reported by their peers statewide (24 percent). Fifty-five percent of district
10th graders reported alcohol use at most or all parties (52 percent statewide). Seventy-three
percent of GISD 12th graders reported having used alcohol at most or all parties, a rate higher
than that reported by students statewide (62 percent) (Fig. 12). Forty-five percent of district
students responded "at parties" when asked where they obtain alcohol most of the time or
always (47 percent statewide), while 24 percent of GISD students said they get alcohol "from
the store" most of the time or always (23 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 been in trouble because of
conduct or attitude problems. Fewer GISD students who had not been absent since the Fall
reported having used alcohol during the past month (26 percent/29 percent statewide) than did
district students who said they had missed four or more days of school (49 percent/50 percent
statewide). Seventy-three percent of the district students who had experienced difficulties with
school officials on four or more days reported using alcohol during the past 30 days, a rate
somewhat higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide (66 percent). By contrast,
only 26 percent of district students who had not experienced difficulties with school officials
because of conduct problems had used alcohol within the past 30 days (29 percent statewide).

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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, 71 percent of Gainesville
students said their parents strongly or mildly disapprove (76 percent statewide). Eight percent
of district students said they "don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age drinking
beer (9 percent statewide), and 12 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (12
percent statewide) (Fig. 15).

Inhalants4

In general, inhalants are common, licit substances (paints, thinners, correction fluid, glue, etc.)
which, when sniffed, huffed, or inhaled, produce an intoxicating effect. Between 1992 and
1994, use of inhalants among students statewide decreased somewhat. Overall, Gainesville ISD
students are using inhalants at rates similar to those reported by their counterparts statewide.

Twenty percent of Gainesville students reported using inhalants at least once during their
lifetimes (19 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Lifetime inhalant use was reported by 26 percent of
district 8th graders (24 percent statewide) and 15 percent of GISD 10th graders (17 percent
statewide). Sixteen percent of district 12th grade students said they had used inhalants at least
once during their lifetimes (15 percent statewide) (Figs. 5a and 5b).

Five percent of Gainesville ISD students said they had used inhalants during the past month, the
same rate reported by students statewide (Fig. 2). Past-month inhalant use was reported by 7
percent of district 8th grade students (8 percent statewide) and 6 percent of GISD 10th grade
students (4 percent statewide). Two percent of district 12th graders said they had used inhalants
during the past month (2 percent statewide) (Figs. 6a and 6b).

Five percent of GISD students reported most or all of their close friends use inhalants (3 percent
statewide), and 5 percent said they had attended at least one class during the past school year
while "high" on inhalants (3 percent statewide). Twelve percent of GISD students said they had
used two or more different kinds of inhalant substances during their lifetimes (12 percent
statewide).

The inhalant substance most frequently used by Gainesville students was correction fluid/Liquid
Paper (12 percent/10 percent statewide). Ten percent of GISD students reported inhaling
substances in the "other inhalants" category (8 percent statewide), 8 percent reported inhaling
gasoline (6 percent statewide), 7 percent said they had inhaled liquid/spray paint (7 percent
statewide), 7 percent reported inhaling substances in the "other sprays" category (4 percent
statewide), 6 percent said they had inhaled paint thinner (6 percent statewide), and 4 percent
said they had inhaled glue (6 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes (Fig. 7).

4 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.

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Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are defined as controlled substances and include marijuana, cocaine (powdered
form and crack), uppers (stimulants), downers (narcotics), hallucinogens, and ecstasy. Between
1992 and 1994, the use of illicit drugs among students statewide increased. The use of
marijuana, the most frequently used illicit substance, also increased among students statewide
over that two-year period.

In the Gainesville ISD, 29 percent of students reported use of illicit drugs at least once during
their lifetimes (30 percent statewide), while 22 percent of GISD students said they had used one
or more illicit substances three or more times (21 percent statewide), rates similar to those
reported by their peers statewide. Statewide, students who said they had used illicit drugs
reported using them an average of 1.6 times in the past 30 days and 4.7 times during their lives.
Gainesville students reported average usage rates of 2.0 times in the past month and 6.5 times
during their lifetimes.

Twenty-five percent of GISD students reported using marijuana at least once in their lifetimes,
a rate similar to that reported by students statewide (28 percent) (Fig. 1). Lifetime marijuana
use was reported by 19 percent of Gainesville 8th grade students (21 percent statewide) and 29
percent of district 10th grade students (30 percent statewide). Thirty-one percent of GISD 12th
graders said they had used marijuana at least once during their lifetimes (34 percent statewide)
(Figs. 5a and 5b).

Past-month marijuana use was reported by 14 percent of Gainesville ISD students (13 percent
statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month marijuana use was reported by 9 percent of district 8th graders
(11 percent statewide) and 16 percent of GISD 10th graders (14 percent statewide). Nineteen
percent of district 12th grade students said they had used marijuana during the past month (14
percent statewide) (Figs. 6a and 6b).

Nine percent of GISD students reported attending at least one class in the past year while
"stoned" on marijuana (10 percent statewide) (Fig. 10). Driving under the influence of drugs at
least once during the past year was reported by 14 percent of Gainesville ISD 10th and 12th
grade students (9 percent statewide). Eleven percent of district 10th graders (7 percent
statewide) and 19 percent of GISD 12th graders (12 percent statewide) said they had driven a
car while under the influence of drugs during the past year.

Fifty-nine* percent of GISD students said marijuana was somewhat or very easy to obtain, a
rate somewhat higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide (52 percent). Nineteen
percent of district students reported most or all of their close friends use marijuana (17 percent
statewide). Seven percent of district students said they had been in "difficulties of any kind"
with their friends because of their own drug use (5 percent statewide).

Twenty-four percent of the Gainesville ISD students said that marijuana and/or other drugs
were used at most or all of the parties they attended during the school year (19 percent
statewide). Drug use at most or all parties was reported by 17 percent of district 8th graders (12

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percent statewide) and 25 percent of Gainesville 10th graders (23 percent statewide). Thirty-
two percent of GISD 12th grade students reported marijuana and/or other drug use at most or all
parties, a rate somewhat higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide (24 percent).

Fewer Gainesville ISD students who had not been absent since the Fall reported having used
marijuana during the past month (7 percent/7 percent statewide) than did district students who
said they had missed four or more days of school (20 percent/16 percent statewide). Four
percent of district students who had not been in trouble with school officials reported using
marijuana within the past 30 days (5 percent statewide). By contrast, 37 percent of district
students who had been in trouble with school officials on four or more days reported using
marijuana during the past 30 days (33 percent statewide).

When asked about parental attitudes toward marijuana use, Gainesville students reported a
disapproval rate of 88 percent, the same rate reported by students statewide. Six percent of
district students said they "don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age using
marijuana (7 percent statewide), while 4 percent said their parents neither approve nor
disapprove (4 percent statewide) (Fig. 15).

Uppers are the next most frequently used illicit substance among Gainesville ISD students (14*
percent/8 percent statewide). Ten* percent of district students reported using downers (5
percent statewide), 8 percent said they had used hallucinogens (7 percent statewide), 5 percent
said they had used powdered cocaine (6 percent statewide), 5 percent reported using ecstasy (3
percent statewide), 3 percent reported using crack (2 percent statewide), and 3 percent said they
had used steroids (2 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes (Fig. 1).

CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG USE

Statewide, female students were less likely to have used drugs than were male students. There
were no significant differences by gender among Gainesville ISD students with regard to the
use of tobacco products, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, or other illicit substances.

In the statewide survey, students living in two-parent homes reported lower drug use than did
students living in other family situations. GISD students living in other family situations were
somewhat more likely to have used tobacco products or smoked marijuana, nearly two times
more likely to have used inhalants, and over two times more likely to have used hallucinogens,
uppers, or downers than were those district students living in homes with two parents. There
were no significant differences by living arrangement among Gainesville ISD students with
regard to the use of alcohol or other illegal drugs.

When asked where they would go for help with a drug or alcohol problem, the largest
percentage of Gainesville students said they would seek help from their friends (73 percent/76
percent statewide). Fifty percent of GISD students said they would seek help from an adult

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friend or relative (57 percent statewide), and 45 percent said they would turn to their parents (52
percent statewide), rates somewhat lower than those reported by their peers statewide. District
students are least likely to seek help from another adult in school, such as a teacher or nurse (28
percent/32 percent statewide), or a medical doctor (29* percent/37 percent statewide) (Fig. 17).
Since school began in the Fall, 4 percent of Gainesville students reported seeking help for any
problems connected with alcohol or drug use from someone other than family or friends (6
percent statewide).

Eighty-three percent of Gainesville ISD students said they had obtained information about
drugs and alcohol from a school source since classes began in the Fall (79 percent statewide).
"An assembly program" was reported by 71* percent of district students as a source for
information about drugs and alcohol (54 percent statewide), while 61* percent said "an invited
school guest" was a source for this information (46 percent statewide), rates higher than those
reported by students statewide. Thirty-six* percent of district students reported getting
information about drugs and alcohol from a "health class," a rate somewhat lower than that
reported by their peers statewide (45 percent).

The influence of drug education programs may be reflected in students' attitudes toward the use
of specific substances. Eighty-five* percent of Gainesville students believe that crack use is
"very dangerous" (91 percent statewide), and 83* percent believe that powdered cocaine use is
"very dangerous" (90 percent statewide), rates somewhat lower than those reported by their
counterparts statewide. Seventy-two percent of GISD students believe that inhalant use is "very
dangerous" (77 percent statewide). Fifty-nine percent of district students believe that marijuana
use is "very dangerous," a rate somewhat lower than that reported by students statewide (66
percent). By contrast, the perceived danger of alcohol and tobacco use is lower. Only 40
percent of GISD students feel that it is "very dangerous" to use alcohol (45 percent statewide).
Thirty-one percent of district students believe that tobacco use is "very dangerous," a rate
somewhat lower than that reported by their peers statewide (38 percent) (Fig. 13).