Thursday, August 18, 2005; Posted: 11:49 a.m. EDT (15:49 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More teens are saying there are drugs in their schools, and those who have access to them are more likely to try them, said a Columbia University survey released Thursday.
Twenty-eight percent of middle-school-student respondents reported that drugs are used, kept or sold at their schools, a 47 percent jump since 2002, according to the 10th annual teen survey by Columbia's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
The number of high schoolers saying drugs are at their schools rose 41 percent in the last three years, to 62 percent, the survey said.
Twelve- to 17-year-olds who report that there are drugs in their schools are three times likelier to try marijuana and twice as likely to drink alcohol than teens who say their schools are drug free, the survey showed.
"Availability is the mother of use," said Joseph Califano Jr., the center's president. "We really are putting an enormous number of 12- to 17-year-olds at great risk."