Red Ribbon Week | Youth Drug Use Statistics and Prevention

Pride Surveys Red Ribbon Week
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Red Ribbon Week is an annual initiative between October 23rd and October 31st dedicated to helping kids stay drug-free. At Pride Surveys, we hope to provide as many statistics and resources around this critical topic as possible in order to support parents, schools, and community coalitions, all of whom are equally passionate about keeping children from using drugs of all varieties.

In light of Red Ribbon Week, we analyzed the drug use trends over the past five years (2014-2018), with a focus on the data surrounding smoking cigarettes, drinking alcoholic beverages, marijuana use, and prescription drug use, in particular.

Drug use, Pride Surveys, Drug Prevention

Pride Surveys Red Ribbon Week Youth Drug Use Statistics and Prevention

Cigarette Smoking Trends and Resources

Pride Surveys data reveals that there has been a very positive decrease in cigarette smoking in children grades six through twelve, with the numbers dropping from 8.6% reporting they smoked part or all of a cigarette in the past 30 days (2014) to 4.6% reporting they did (2018).

For resources related to cigarette smoking in youth, please visit our World No Tobacco Day blog post.

Alcohol Use Trends and Resources

From 2014 to 2018, Pride Surveys data shows that when asked if they drank one or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage in the previous 30 days, the numbers decreased overall by 2.9% (17% to 14.1%). There was an uptick from 2017 to 2018, with 12.9% of youth reporting they had consumed alcohol in 2017 versus 14.1% in 2018.

For additional data on binge drinking, drinking and driving, alcohol consumption by grade, and resources for identifying if teens are using alcohol and ways to help prevent them from doing so, please visit our National Alcohol Awareness Month blog post.

Marijuana Use Trends and Resources

Pride Surveys data for marijuana use shows that while the numbers have decreased between 2014 to 2018 from 10.6% to 9.2%, there was also an uptick from 2016 and 2017 (8.2% each year) to 2018 (9.2%).

The Red Ribbon Week, and Stanford Children’s Health provide a significant number of ways to speak with kids about marijuana use and the dangers surrounding it.

Prescription Drug Use Trends and Resources

In large part, due to our community coalition partners’ phenomenal work, the great news is that prescription drug use in grades six through twelve has dropped almost in half based on the data. When asked if they had used prescription drugs not prescribed to them over the past 30 days, there was a decline with 4.3% of youth surveyed reporting “yes” in 2014 versus 2.2% in 2018.

Our blog post on the topic provides ample information on warning signs, risk factors, and the “why” behind prescription drug use in children.

At Pride Surveys, we remain committed to consistently providing our community coalition and school colleagues with up-to-date survey data and resources on issues impacting youth from Red Ribbon Week throughout the course of each year. While 2020 looks significantly different than years past, the more community coalitions stay involved with and support youth and the more activities and programs teens and middle schoolers are involved in, the less likely they are to imbibe in drugs and alcohol.

Should you have questions or be interested in an online or paper survey related to substance abuse or other topics, please reach out to our team to learn more.


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