iIndicator Details

% Ever Taken an Illegal Drug (EMH)

Short Definition: % of students who have taken an illegal drug (SurveyWorks: Elementary, Middle, and High)

Long Definition:

The percent of students within a given school who have ever taken an illegal drug.

This question was answered as part of the SurveyWorks questionnaire and was included in the surveys for middle and high school students. SurveyWorks is the Rhode Island Department of Education's new opinions-and-perceptions survey and is administered annually to all students in grades 4-12. SurveyWorks is age appropriate for each level — elementary, middle and high school — but it covers roughly the same areas of questioning for all three levels.

Agency Source: RIDE

Time Period(s):
School Year 2009-10,  2010-11,  2011-12,  2012-13,  2013-14

Geographies: School

Data Type: Numeric


This indicator allows us to measure and compare the implications of well-being within the school environment.


Elementary students were asked 'Have you ever taken an illegal drug?' for all years, with the specification '(such as marijuana, crack)' in 2009-10 through 2011-12. Middle school students were asked 'Have you ever taken an illegal drug other than alcohol or cigarettes?' in 2009-10 through 2011-12.

For middle school students in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and high school students in all years, this is a calculated indicator. Students were asked if they had ever used a variety of drugs, which varied between years. If they answered yes to any drug, or to 'Other illegal drug,' which was an option every year, then they are counted as having ever used an illegal drug.

This information is self-reported.

Universe: All students enrolled in grades 6-12 in a RI public school who participated in the SurveyWorks survey.

Tags: School Climate, School Safety, Well-being, Drugs

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