Part 2: Substance use
In 2015, the Region 6 Prevention Resource Center - which includes Galveston and 12 surrounding counties - compiled a needs assessment. In it was a survey of how many teens had used various drugs.Shady teenager
Alcohol
More teenage girls in grades 6-12 drink alcohol than boys.
54.6%

Boys alcohol use was 49.3%. But more boys use tobacco, marijuana or synthetic marijuana than girls.

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Overall, African-American teens were less likely to use alcohol (49.4%) than their Hispanic (55.8%) or white counterparts (51.5%).
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46.4%
of the teens in Region 6 answered that it was easy to get alcohol.
Other drugs
 
 Boys

Girls

 Hispanic

White/non-Hispanic

African-American

 

Tobacco usage
 
 Gender Race / ethnicity 
 
 21.6%
19.3%
 23.2%
23.5%
12.7%
 
 
Marijuana usage
 
 Gender Race / ethnicity 
 
 25.2%
22.7%
 28.2%
21.0%
25.2%
 
 
Synthetic marijuana usage
 
 Gender Race / ethnicity 
 
 7.4%
4.9%
 7.3%
6.5%
3.8%
 
 
From the assessment

"Perceptions of substance use and perceived peer pressure can be as significant a risk factor as direct peer pressure ...

"Particularly with tobacco and marijuana, students overestimate the number of peers who use substances. Such assumptions create an inaccurate sense of what is normal or expected behavior among adolescent populations."

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"A significant protective factor against youth substance use is a close, trusted bond with parents and other adults. Conversely, adolescents who do not receive information about the risks of underage drinking and drug use, and clearly defined boundaries and consequences for drinking or drug use, are considered to have a greater risk for use."

55%

of the teens in Region 6 said at least one of their parents talked with them about the dangers of drug and alcohol and 25 percent have not.

Perceptions

In a 2014 survey, students were asked how many of their friends they thought were using the drugs below. Their perceptions were compared to self-reporting data.

 Perceived No use 
 65.9%Tobacco79.6% 
 
 46.1%Alcohol48.1% 
 
 51.7%Marijuana76.1% 
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First use

The average age of the first use of drugs in Texas is 13 years old. Of those currently using substances, many started before their 13th birthday.

 Region 6 Statewide 
 36.3%Tobacco33.7% 
 
 40.7%Alcohol38.0% 
 
 25.8%Marijuana23.1% 
 
 14.9%Synthetic14.7% 
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Share you views

Thank you for reading part two of the teen stress series - Substance Use. The Daily News is eager to know what our readers think of the data reported Sunday.

Fill out the short questionnaire at this link and your answers may be used in an upcoming part of the series.

NEXT WEEK: Teens, how well do you know your parents?

See next Sunday's Lifestyle section for part three of the series.

In this Series

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