Youth Survey Reveals Higher Drug Use Among Arizona Youth

marijuana bud

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission released the results of a statewide survey that included more than 48,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades from all 15 counties across Arizona.

The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) is the primary vehicle used in Arizona to collect data and provide one of the most in-depth and comprehensive looks at youth risks and behaviors in Arizona.

Andrew LeFevre, Executive Director of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, stated, “Utilizing the data provided in the Arizona Youth Survey, state and local policymakers can make better-informed decisions in developing effective strategies to combat youth substance abuse and improve communities throughout Arizona.”

ACJC conducted the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey to assess health risk behaviors and measure the prevalence of substance abuse – including alcohol, tobacco and other dangerous drugs – among 8th, 10th and 12th graders.

Additionally, the AYS assesses the prevalence and frequency of youth gang involvement, gambling, violence, bullying and other risky behaviors in Arizona, and helps stakeholders to better understand the risk and protective factors that are correlated with these behaviors.

Key findings:

Cigarette Use 4.8 percent of youth reported smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days (7.4 percent of 12th graders). This rate has decreased across all grade levels since 2014.

E-Cigarette Use 19.9 percent of youth reported e-cigarette use in the past 30 days (26.1 percent of 12th graders). This rate has increased since it was first assessed in 2016.

Alcohol Use 20.2 percent of youth reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days (30.8 percent of 12th graders), 9.6 percent of youth reported drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in a row during the past 30 days. In 2018, the most frequently reported source for youth obtaining alcohol was at a party (47.1 percent) and from a relative over 21 (22.6 percent).

Marijuana Use 15.7 percent of youth reported using marijuana in the past 30 days (23.3 percent of 12th graders), and 12.3 percent of youth reported smoking or vaping marijuana concentrates in the past 30 days (17.9 percent of 12th graders).

Where Marijuana was Obtained 24.8 percent of youth reported obtaining marijuana from someone with a medical marijuana card (29.7 percent of 12th graders). 10.6 percent of youth reported that they bought it from a dispensary with Arizona (11.4 percent of 12th graders).

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