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Texas School Survey Of Drug And Alcohol Use

Presidio ISD

Secondary Executive Summary

Introduction

The Texas School Survey is an annual collection of self-reported tobacco, alcohol, inhalant, and
substance use data from among elementary and/or secondary students in individual districts throughout
the state of Texas. The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) in conjunction
with the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA), is also administered every other
year to a representative sample of Texas students in grades 4 through 6 and grades 7 through 12.

Data from the statewide sampling, administered in the Spring of 1998, are incorporated into an over-
time database maintained by TCADA to track trends in substance use so that policymakers at the state
level have up-to-date information upon which to base decisions and plot prevention strategies. These
data also serve as an overall standard of comparison for use by those at the district level to interpret,
and act upon, local survey findings in a similar way.

The executive summary begins with a section containing a general demographic overview of those who
took the survey in the participating district. This is followed by sections dealing with the various
substances covered by the survey---tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, and illicit drugs. The summary
concludes with a section that explores selected characteristics associated with substance use in the
district and a final one dealing with where students come by what they know about drugs and alcohol
and to whom they might turn if they thought they were having a problem.

For context, each section dealing with substance use will begin with a brief, over-time glimpse of the
statewide trends in the 1990's with regard to that substance. Use data are then sandwiched in between
subsections dealing with environment and, where the data are applicable, with behavior specifically
associated with substance use.

Items that are generally recognized as contributing to the environment in which substance use is most
likely to occur include availability, peer use, and parental attitudes. Included in the behavior category
are such things as "binge drinking" (the consuming of five or more alcoholic beverages at one time),
attending class drunk or stoned, use of alcohol or illicit drugs at parties, or operating a motor vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

As for the actual, self-reported use of each substance, it is important to note the frequency of such use.
Is it experimental, a once-in-a-lifetime thing? Is it casual use, a once-in-a-while behavior? Or is it
regular use, a monthly, weekly, or---in the case of tobacco products in particular---a daily habit?
Further, use data are used to differentiate between those who smoke cigarettes from those who use a
smokeless tobacco product, those who drink beer from those who drink wine coolers, those who sniff
correction fluid from those who sniff glue, and those who smoke marijuana from those who snort
powdered cocaine.

Three final points should be noted about the data. First, 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. Second, due to the small number of students
surveyed in this district, no between-grade comparisons can be made.

Finally, some data in this report are marked with an asterisk. Data so marked 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.

The percentages referred to in the executive summary that follows were taken from the tables found in
"Part I: District Survey Results." Figures referenced throughout this report are included in "Part III:
Executive Summary."

Demographic Overview

In the Spring of 1998, the Texas School Survey was administered to students in grades 7 through 12 in
the Presidio Independent School District (PISD). Texas School Survey protocols, formulated to ensure
that the data used in this analysis has an acceptable probability of error, called for the district to
administer the survey to all of the students. The accuracy of the data requires that school staff
administering the survey followed the protocols.

A total of 152 students completed the questionnaire. Of that number, 4 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 148, consisting of:

00000000•. Far more female (67 percent) than male (33 percent) students;

•. An ethnic breakdown that is predominantly Mexican-American (96 percent), 3 percent white, and 1
percent other;

•. Over three-quarters who say they live in a two-parent home (78 percent), and 75 percent who
report they have lived in the district for four or more years; and

•. Nineteen percent who say their parent(s) are college graduates, and 76 percent who indicate they
qualify for free/reduced lunches at school.

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Tobacco

General tobacco use includes both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Between 1990 and
1996, those secondary students statewide who have reported experimental use of tobacco products has
stayed relatively flat at just over 50 percent. On the other hand, the prevalence of those secondary
students reporting past-month use inched upward from 1992 (21 percent) through 1996 (26 percent).
This upward trend in more recent use appears to have leveled off in 1998, however.

Overall, the general use of tobacco products among Presidio ISD students in 1998 was somewhat
similar to that reported by their counterparts statewide, although the use of smokeless tobacco products
would appear to have been less than that indicated by their peers statewide.

Environment. Over three-quarters of PISD students (80 percent) reported that cigarettes are
somewhat or very easy to get (73 percent statewide). Only 9* percent of Presidio students said most or
all of their close friends smoke cigarettes, less than half the rate indicated by students statewide (22
percent).

Over half of district students (58 percent) indicated that smokeless tobacco products are somewhat or
very easy to get (50 percent statewide), and 4 percent said most or all of their close friends use
smokeless tobacco (4 percent statewide).

Students were asked about parental attitudes toward the use of cigarettes by “kids your age.” Seventy-
one percent of PISD students said their parents strongly or mildly disapprove of kids smoking (79
percent statewide), while 13 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove of kids their age
smoking cigarettes (9 percent statewide). Fourteen* percent of district students said they "don't know"
how their parents feel about kids their age smoking cigarettes, nearly twice the rate indicated by
students statewide (8 percent statewide).

Over a third of Presidio students (38 percent) believe that tobacco use is "very dangerous" (40 percent
statewide) (Fig. 7).

Use. Fifty-nine percent of Presidio students reported general tobacco use at least once during their
lifetimes (55 percent statewide) (Fig. 1), while 24 percent said they had used a tobacco product during
the past month (26 percent statewide) (Fig. 2).

Fifty-seven percent of Presidio students reported smoking cigarettes at least once during their lifetimes
(53 percent statewide), and 23 percent said they had smoked cigarettes during the past month (25
percent statewide). Only 3* percent of Presidio students reported smoking cigarettes on a daily basis,
less than half the rate indicated by students statewide (8 percent).

Experimental use of smokeless tobacco products was reported by 13 percent of PISD students (14
percent statewide). Only 1* percent of district students said they had used a smokeless tobacco
product during the past month, compared to the 5 percent indicated by students statewide. None of the
Presidio students reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily basis (1 percent statewide).

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Alcohol

Alcohol is the most widely used substance among students statewide and in the Presidio ISD. As the
decade began, 81 percent of secondary students statewide reported experimental alcohol use. This
lifetime prevalence rate inched downward in 1992 (76 percent) and again in 1994 (74 percent), stayed
flat in 1996 (74 percent), and decline further in 1998 (72 percent). The rate of alcohol use in the past
month among secondary students statewide was 43 percent in 1990, dropped to 37 percent in 1992,
inched back up to 39 percent in 1994, and has stayed relatively flat through 1996 and 1998 (38
percent).

Overall, Presidio ISD students appear to have been drinking alcohol in 1998, especially beer, at rates
higher than those reported by their peers statewide.

Environment. Over half of district students (55* percent) reported most or all of their close friends
drink alcohol (38 percent statewide), and 84 percent said beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor were
somewhat easy or very easy to obtain (75 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated by
students statewide.

Students who said they consume alcohol were asked where they obtained it most of the time or always.
Sixty* percent of district students said they obtain alcohol "at parties" (41 percent statewide), and 26*
percent reported they get it "from the store" (14 percent statewide); rates higher than those reported by
students statewide. Forty-one percent of PISD students responded that they get alcohol "from friends"
(36 percent statewide),

Parental attitudes can be a major factor in whether or not a student uses alcohol. When asked how their
parents feel about kids their age drinking beer, 80 percent of Presidio students said their parents
strongly or mildly disapprove (79 percent statewide), and 6 percent said their parents neither approve
nor disapprove (9 percent statewide). Ten percent of district students said they "don't know" how their
parents feel about kids their age drinking beer (8 percent statewide) (Fig. 8).

A third of PISD students (33 percent) feel that it is "very dangerous" to use alcohol (44 percent
statewide) (Fig. 9).

Use. Eighty-seven* percent of Presidio students reported consuming alcohol at least once during their
lifetimes (72 percent statewide) (Fig. 1), and 55* percent said they had consumed alcohol during the
past month (38 percent statewide) (Fig. 2); rates higher than those indicated by students statewide.

The alcoholic beverages most often consumed by Presidio students are beer (76* percent/57 percent
statewide) and wine coolers (61 percent/60 percent statewide). Half of PISD students (50* percent)
said they drink beer on a weekly or monthly basis, compared to the 36 percent reported by students
statewide. Thirty percent of district students said they drink wine coolers weekly or monthly (35
percent statewide).

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Behavior Associated With Use. "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 Presidio ISD students
reported "binge drinking" beer at least once during their lifetimes (36 percent statewide), while 21
percent said they usually drink five or more beers at a time on average when they drink (17 percent
statewide). One-time "binge drinking" of wine coolers was reported by 42 percent of PISD students
(39 percent statewide), while 9 percent said they usually drink five or more wine coolers at a time on
average when they drink (15 percent statewide).

Sixteen percent of Presidio students reported attending at least one class during the past school year
while "drunk" (10 percent statewide) (Fig. 3). Nearly a quarter of PISD 9th through 12th grade
students (23 percent) said that they had driven a car after having "a good bit to drink" at least once
during the past year (14 percent statewide). Driving while intoxicated four or more times during the
past year was reported by 4 percent of district 9th through 12th graders (4 percent statewide) (Fig. 5).
Forty-four percent of Presidio students said alcohol was used at most or all of the parties they attended
in the past school year (38 percent statewide) (Fig. 6).

Two percent of PISD students said they had gotten into trouble with their teacher because of alcohol
use at least once during the past school year (1 percent statewide), while 8 percent reported they had
gotten in trouble with the police because of their alcohol use during the past year (4 percent statewide),
and 15 percent said they had "difficulties of any kind" with friends because of one's own drinking (9
percent statewide).

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are defined as controlled substances and include marijuana, cocaine (powdered form and
crack), uppers (stimulants), downers (narcotics), hallucinogens, and ecstasy.

In 1990, as part of a general downward trend in the use of these substances, a quarter of secondary
students statewide (25 percent) reported experimental use of an illegal drug and 10 percent said they
had used an illegal substance in the past month. This downward trend bottomed out in 1992, as 22
percent of secondary students reported lifetime use of any illicit drug and 8 percent indicated past-
month use. The use of marijuana by this student population closely paralleled this overall trend. As the
decade began, nearly a quarter of secondary students statewide (23 percent) reported that they had
smoked marijuana at least one time in their lives and 8 percent indicated that they had done so in the
past month. Two years later, as the downward trend bottomed out, 20 percent of statewide students in
grades 7 through 12 said they at experimented with marijuana and 7 percent reported past-month use.

In 1994, however, these prevalence rates began to climb---most particularly with regard to pas-moth
use. Thus, 28 percent of this student population indicated use of an illegal drug at least once in their
lifetimes, while more recent use nearly doubled from that reported two years earlier---to 14 percent. By
1996, experimental use of illicit substances had climbed to 34 percent and 18 percent said they had used
such a substance in the past month. In the most recent assessment, the lifetime use inched up to 36
percent, but the past-month use edged down to 15 percent. Again, marijuana use mirrors these trends.
In 1994, 25 percent of secondary students statewide said they had experimented with marijuana and 12
percent indicated they had done so in the last thirty days. Two years later, these prevalence rates

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climbed up again, to 31 percent for lifetime use and 16 percent for past-month use. And, in 1998, well
over a third (35 percent) of this student population had smoked marijuana at least once, although more
recent use was slightly lower than that which had been reported during the previous statewide
assessment (15 percent).

Overall, the use of illicit drugs, and of marijuana in particular, among Presidio ISD secondary students
in 1998 was lower than that reported by their counterparts statewide.

Environment. Students were asked how available they believed certain substances were to obtain.
Just under half of PISD students (46 percent) said marijuana was somewhat or very easy to obtain (50
percent statewide). Just over a third of district students (36* percent) indicated that powdered cocaine
was easily accessible (36* percent/25 percent statewide), while just over a quarter said they believed
heroin was somewhat or very easy to obtain (26* percent/16 percent statewide); rates higher than those
reported by students statewide. Eleven* percent of Presidio students believe that downers are easily
accessible to them (21 percent statewide), and 9* percent said uppers were somewhat easy or easy to
obtain (21 percent statewide); nearly half the rates indicated by students statewide.

With regard to the question of the effects of peer influence on substance use, 5* percent of PISD
students reported most or all of their close friends use marijuana, a quarter of the rate indicated by
students statewide (20 percent). And when asked about parental attitudes toward marijuana use,
Presidio students reported a disapproval rate of 83 percent (87 percent statewide). Eight percent of
district students said they "don't know" how their parents feel about kids their age using marijuana (7
percent statewide), while 8 percent said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (4 percent
statewide) (Fig. 8).

Over three-quarters of Presidio students (77* percent) believe that marijuana use is "very dangerous," in
contrast to the 58 percent indicated by students statewide. As for the risks associated with the use of
other illicit substances by students, 79 percent feel that use of ecstasy is "very dangerous" (74 percent
statewide), 88 percent believe that heroin is “very dangerous” (89 percent statewide), 89 percent feel
that the use of crack is "very dangerous" (88 percent statewide), and 90 percent believe that powdered
cocaine use is "very dangerous" (86 percent statewide) (Fig. 7).

Use. In the Presidio ISD, 24* percent of students reported experimental use of an illicit drug (36
percent statewide), and 16* percent of PISD students reported smoking marijuana at least once in their
lifetimes (35 percent statewide); rates lower than those indicated by students statewide (Fig. 1). Past-
month marijuana use was reported by 3* percent of Presidio ISD students, a fifth of the rate indicated
by their peers statewide (15 percent) (Fig. 2).

Other illicit substances are used by a small number of Presidio ISD students. Powdered cocaine is the
next most frequently used illicit substance among Presidio ISD students (9 percent/8 percent statewide).
Three percent of district students reported using downers (6 percent statewide), 3 percent said they had
using ecstasy (4 percent statewide), 3 percent reported using crack (3 percent statewide), 2 percent
indicated they had used heroin (2 percent statewide) and 3 percent said they had used steroids (2
percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes.
Three* percent of PISD students reported using uppers (8 percent statewide) and 2* percent said they

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had used hallucinogens (7 percent statewide) at least one time during their lives, rates lower than those
indicated by students statewide. None of the PISD students they had ever used Rohypnol (7 percent
statewide) (Fig. 1).

Behavior Associated with Use. Four* percent of PISD students reported attending at least one class
in the past year while "stoned" on marijuana, less than a third of the rate indicated by students statewide
(13 percent) (Fig. 4). None of the Presidio ISD 9th through 12th grade students reported driving under
the influence of drugs during the past year (12 percent statewide). Only 9* percent of the Presidio ISD
students said that marijuana and/or other drugs were used at most or all of the parties they attended
during the school year, less than half the rate indicated by students statewide (22 percent).

One percent of PISD students said they had gotten into trouble with their teacher because of illicit drug
use at least once during the past school year (2 percent statewide), while 1 percent reported they had
gotten in trouble with the police because of their use of illegal drugs during the past year (3 percent
statewide), and 3 percent of district students said they had gotten into "difficulties of any kind" with
their friends during the past year because of their own drug use (6 percent statewide).

Inhalants

In general, inhalants are common, licit substances (paints, thinners, correction fluid, glue, etc.) which,
when sniffed, huffed, or inhaled, produce an intoxicating effect. Lifetime and past-month inhalant use
percentages have been adjusted to reflect reported use of both specific inhalants and inhalant use
generally. This adjustment was made because some students responded positive to specific use without
responding positive to generic use, while some students responded positive to generic use but not
specific inhalants.

Experimental inhalant use among secondary students statewide reached a peak in 1992 (23 percent),
then dipped to 19 percent two years later, and has stayed relatively flat through 1996 (20 percent).
Past-month use held steady at 5 percent throughout this period. A new trend may be emerging,
however, as lifetime use of inhalants inched back up to 22 percent in 1998 and 8 percent reported use of
an inhalant during the past month.

Overall, Presidio ISD students appear to be using inhalants in 1998 at rates somewhat similar to those
reported by their counterparts statewide.

Environment. None of the PISD students reported most or all of their close friends use inhalants (2
percent statewide), and 76 percent believe that inhalant use is "very dangerous" (76 percent statewide)
(Fig. 7).

Use. Over a quarter of Presidio students (27 percent) reported using inhalants at least once during their
lifetimes (22 percent statewide) (Fig. 1), and 10 percent said they had used inhalants during the past
month (8 percent statewide) (Fig. 2).

Fifteen percent of PISD students said they had used two or more different kinds of inhalant substances
during their lifetimes (12 percent statewide). Fourteen* percent of district students said they had

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inhaled paint thinner at least one time during their lives, more than double the rate indicated by students
statewide (6 percent).

The inhalant substances most frequently used next by Presidio students were those in the “other
inhalant” category (12 percent/10 percent statewide), correction fluid/whiteout (12 percent/10 percent
statewide), and liquid/spay paint (10 percent/9 percent statewide). Eight percent of PISD students
reported inhaling gasoline (5 percent statewide), 7 percent indicated they had inhaled glue (5 percent
statewide), 7 percent said they had inhaled substances in the "other sprays" category (4 percent
statewide) at least once during their lifetimes.

Characteristics Associated With Drug Use

In the statewide survey, and with the notable exception of uppers, female students were somewhat less
likely to have used an illicit drug than were male students. In the Presidio ISD, male students were
somewhat more likely to have used heroin and over three times more likely to have used powdered
cocaine than were district female students. On the other hand, PISD female students were somewhat
more likely to have used an inhalant, a downer, a steroid, or ecstasy and over two times more likely to
have smoked marijuana than were their male counterparts, and were the only reported users of uppers
or hallucinogens in the district. There were no other significant differences by gender among PISD
students with regard to the use of tobacco products, alcohol, or crack.

Drug and Alcohol Information

The influence of drug education programs may be reflected in students' attitudes toward the use of
specific substances reported above. Eighty-three* percent of Presidio ISD students said they had
gotten information about drugs and alcohol from a school source since classes began in the Fall, in
contrast to the 65 percent indicated by students statewide. "An assembly program" was reported by
82* percent of district students as a source for information about drugs and alcohol (51 percent
statewide), and 68* percent reported getting information about drugs and alcohol from "an invited
school guest" (42 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated by students statewide. Only a
third of PISD students (33* percent) said a "health class" was a source for this information about drugs
and alcohol, a rate lower than that reported by their counterparts statewide (49 percent).

When asked where they would go for help with a drug or alcohol problem, the largest percentage of
Presidio students said they would seek help from their friends (83 percent/75 percent statewide).
Seventy-two percent of PISD students said they would seek help from an adult friend or relative for a
drug or alcohol problem (61 percent statewide), and 59 percent said they would turn to their parents for
such help (58 percent statewide). District students are least likely to seek help for a drug or alcohol
problem from a counselor or program in school (45* percent/34 percent statewide), or another adult in
school, such as a teacher or nurse (45* percent/32 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated
by students statewide (Fig. 9).

Since school began in the Fall, 15* percent of Presidio students reported seeking help for any problems
connected with alcohol or drug use from someone other than family or friends, more than twice the rate

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indicated by their peers statewide (6 percent).

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