The youth of Rhode Island were recently surveyed on their alcohol and drug use, among other issues, and the town of East Greenwich published the data hoping the community would better understand the seriousness of substance abuse.
The Brown University study, which was based on a state education survey, showed that high school kids living in East Greenwich use less drugs as their peers in other parts of the state. On the other hand, they consume more alcohol than “moderate drinking” peers in the Ocean State. For purposes of the Brown study, moderate drinking was said to be having a drink six times or more during a 30-day span.
The study showed a shift between middle school and high school. Middle schoolers in East Greenwich ranked near the bottom in the state for moderate drinking while high schoolers there ranked second from the top.
East Greenwich Middle School Substance Use Statistics:
- Use of marijuana is 1.3 percent – lowest in the state
- Non-medical use of prescription drugs is 1.1 percent – lowest in the state
- Illicit drug use is.6 percent
- Inhalant use is 1.1 percent
- Alcohol use at any time is 8.6 percent
- Alcohol use on campus is .8 percent
- Current use of alcohol is 2.7 percent
- Moderate use of alcohol is .6 percent
- Tobacco use any time is 3.2 percent
- Depression is 20.8 percent
East Greenwich High School Substance Use Statistics:
- Use of marijuana at any time is 28.4 percent
- Use of marijuana in last month is 17.8 percent
- Non-medical prescription drug use at any time is 10.3 percent
- Current non-medical prescription drug use is 6.3 percent
- Cocaine use at any time is 4.9 percent
- Inhalant use at any time is 4.9 percent
- Illicit drug use is 8 percent
- Use drugs on campus is 10.6 percent
- Bought drugs on campus is 10.4 percent
- Alcohol use at any time is 43.5 percent
- Alcohol use on campus is 9.5 percent
- Current alcohol use is 30.6 percent
- Moderate alcohol use is 10.3 percent
- Heavy alcohol use is 5.3 percent
- Tobacco use at any time is 19 percent
- Depression is 21.8 percent
Parental Attitude Towards Drinking Has Stronger Influence Than Parents Think
According to an East Greenwich drug counselor, the kids of East Greenwich host drinking parties and see nothing wrong with doing so. One reason that high schoolers may not be hesitant is because moms and dads accept the behavior, perhaps even expect the behavior. Numerous studies have shown that parental attitudes toward drinking have influence.
While parents of adolescents might think they’re not influential, the fact is they are. An Australian study on parent influence and adolescent drinking found several key ways that parents can maintain a helpful role in developing alcohol use attitudes and behavior.
The study used a review of long-term studies and 32 over-the-phone and in-person interviews with moms and dads.
Parent Behaviors That Prevents Teen Alcohol Consumption
The following parent behaviors appeared to delay drinking and to reduce the amount of drinking by kids later on:
- Parent modeling
- Talking about alcohol use
- Clear disapproval for underage drinking
- Disciplined home environment
- Specific rules pertaining to drinking
- Quality parent/child relationship
- Reduced family conflict
- Parent involvement and support
- Regular communication
The good news for East Greenwich is that fewer high school kids are experimenting with drugs. The bad news is that more kids are experimenting with alcohol. The hopeful news for East Greenwich is that things can turn around when the adults refuse to surrender their role of influence.