SRHD says alcohol use among Spokane teens down; Marijuana use up - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

SRHD says alcohol use among Spokane teens down; Marijuana use up

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Electronic-cigarette use, as well as marijuana use, among Spokane sophomores are each nearly double the rate of regular cigarette-use (12 percent). Electronic-cigarette use, as well as marijuana use, among Spokane sophomores are each nearly double the rate of regular cigarette-use (12 percent).
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - According to a study conducted by the Washington State Department of Health, marijuana, cigarette, and e-cigarette use among teens appears to be on the rise, while alcohol use is on the decline. The Spokane Regional Health District seems to agree. 

The Healthy Youth Survey is conducted every two years by students in grades six, eight, 10 and 12 in nearly 1,000 public schools in Washington. In Spokane County, nearly 10,000 kids took part in the survey. Results released on Friday show: 

  • E-cigarette use—26 percent among sophomores—increased since the last survey and is at twice the state's rate.
  • Marijuana use—19 percent among high school sophomores—increased.
  • One in four seniors reported marijuana use in the past 30 days.
  • Electronic-cigarette use, as well as marijuana use, among Spokane sophomores are each nearly double the rate of regular cigarette-use (12 percent).
  • Cigarette use among Spokane teens is also up and rates among Spokane 10th- and 12th graders are higher than state rates.
  • Past-month-use of alcohol among 10th graders continued to trend down.

“Youth substance use going up means that more of our teens are at higher risk for impairment and addiction,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. “These behaviors contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults locally and nationally. Family and community support is needed to keep alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarettes out of the hands of kids, and to provide a healthy home and community environment.”

The SRHD said most students in the survey didn't report any substance use, and alcohol trends were down. However, the SRHD said they are still concerned about the current use-rates of all substances, especially marijuana and e-cigarettes. 

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