A few weeks ago the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission released the results from the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey. The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) is administered to a sample of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders across Arizona every two years. The survey measures the number of youth that use substances and how often they use. In addition, the survey measures gang involvement and other risky behaviors. Here are a few of the key findings from the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey:
- Cigarette use has continued to decline.
- E-Cigarette use has increased since 2016. 19.9% of youth reported using an E-Cigarette in the past 30 days.
- In the past 30 days, 20.2% of youth reported using alcohol. Youth most commonly obtained the alcohol from a party or a relative over the age of 21.
- In the past 30 days, 15.7% of youth report using marijuana. Youth most commonly obtained marijuana from friends or a party.
- 56.3% of youth do not believe that drug use is risky.
So what does this all mean and what can we do with this information? With e-cigarette use up and more than 56% of youth believing that drug use is not risky, it is important that we continue educating our youth and have open conversations with our children about the dangers of substance use. In addition, it is important that we acknowledge and reward our youth when appropriate for success in school and encourage them to become involved in extracurricular activities, like clubs or sports. If you would like to review the AYS report in full, please click here. For tips on how to speak with your kids about drugs, please visit: /drugfreeazkids/TalkWithYourKids.