Early Warning Signs - Substance use in Middle & High School

Essential Question:
Substance abuse and disaffection are closely linked. Both can lead to dropping out. What do we know about substance use that can help us choose where to target interventions?

A story in our Early-Warning Systems Data Story Series. Here we'll examine student reports of substance use.


The national data show Rhode Island with higher than average substance use.

According to the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (SAMHSA), Rhode Island youth ages 12-17 were more likely to report illicit drug use (15.1%), cigarette use (6.2%), and binge alcohol use (21.2%) in the past month than the national average in 2012-13. Meanwhile, according to the 2013 Youth Risky Behavior Survey (YRBS), Rhode Island students in grades 9-12 were also above the national average in the percentage reporting they had at least one drink of alcohol on on at least one day in the past month (31%).

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