Alternative high schools serve students who are at risk for dropping out of regular high school or who have been expelled from regular high school because of illegal activity or behavioral problems. While these students are more likely than their regular high school peers to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, little is known about the extent to which these students use such substances on school property. We analyzed data from the 1998 National Alternative High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationally representative study of alternative school students conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to determine the prevalence of substance use on school property among alternative high school students, as well as to describe the characteristics of students who engage in these behaviors. During the 30 days preceding the survey, 35.1% of alternative high school students smoked cigarettes on school property, 19.6% used marijuana on school property, 10.1% drank alcohol on school property, and 4.7% used smokeless tobacco on school property. Male students were more likely than female students to report substance use on school property, and white students were more likely than black or Hispanic students to do so. These data suggest that one avenue for reducing tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use among alternative school students is to establish and enforce policies that prohibit substance use at these schools.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. Describe the extent and characteristics of substance use on school property among alternative school students 2. Recognize the challenges alternative high school personnel face in enforcing substance use prevention policies
Keywords: Substance Abuse, Students
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA