January 24, 2007

Hundreds of schools and community organizations address the adolescent meth crisis with the help of Pride Surveys.

To learn how to obtain objective data for your local area, visit our web site or call the toll-free number below.

You can download and print these guides to distribute in your community.

Data-Driven Schools

Community Coalitions


Pride Surveys
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Bowling Green, KY 42103

A Portrait of the Typical School-Age Meth User

The typical student user of methamphetamines is a 17-year old white male who lives with both parents, first tried meth at age 12.6 years, under performs in the classroom, and does not view the drug as harmful to the health, according to data collected by Pride Surveys from more than 3,000 self-reported users of meth in grades 6-12.

chartMore than half (51.1%) find meth to be “very easy” to obtain. Another 12.5% said “fairly easy.”

Nearly a third said their parents would not find it wrong if they used marijuana (33.4%) or other illicit drugs (30.4%).

Both parents of the meth user are likely to be fully employed; most graduated from high school and attended or graduated from college.

Three-fourths of the student meth users (77.3%) said their friends use marijuana sometimes, or more frequently, with more than half (51.9%) smoking pot “a lot.”

Before the 2005-06 school year, Pride Surveys added a specific “meth” category to its anonymous student questionnaire. The question asks: “Within the past year how often have you used meth (crystal, ice, crank, etc.)?”

Among all 101,141 student responses contained in the Pride Survey for Grades 6-12 National Summary 2006, 3.1% reported that they used meth at least once in the past year, while 2% reported monthly use. Data describing the typical meth user in this article represent a subset of 3,019 students in the National Summary who self-reported at least annual use of meth on the revised questionnaire.

In the meth users’ subset, 51.9% stated their ethnicity as white; 61.1% checked their gender as male; 18.1% gave their age as 17; and 42.2% said they live with both parents.

A hard-core drug-using group

When isolated in the subset, meth users constitute a hard-core group of drug users.

For example, 74.7% of meth users reported monthly use of marijuana, compared to 8.2% among other students.

Daily tobacco use was reported by 52.9% among meth users, compared with 6% in the rest of the student population.

Daily alcohol use stood at 39.5%, versus 1.1% among non-users.

“These staggering numbers sadly summarize the meth menace facing America,” said Doug Hall, senior vice-president of Pride Surveys.

Not surprisingly, the majority of meth users see little or no harm to their health by using meth. A full 40.8% said meth poses no harm to their health, while 18% said meth poses some harm.

By contrast, 83.6% of non-users believe meth is very harmful, and 10.3% see it is as harmful. Just 6.1% view the drug as presenting no harm or some harm.

Two in five of the meth-using students (43.3%) said they make good grades “often” or “a lot,” against 70.8% of non-users.

Asked if their mother and father were employed, 56.5% said their mother is employed full-time, and 72.3% said their father has a full-time job.

In addition, 74.9% said their mother and 70.8% said their father graduated from high school, attended college, or graduated from college.

The age breakdown for meth users was: 19+ years (6.4%); 18 years (9%); 17 years (18.1%); 16 years (16%); 15 years (15.9%); 14 years (13%); 13 years (10%); 12 years (6.1%); 11 years (2.8%); 10 and under years (2.6%).

Stay Abreast of Prevention News

Pride Surveys tries to keep you informed of news that can affect your prevention programs. There are other excellent sources of information that we recommend as well. Here are just a few:

Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools Prevention News Bulletin
Office of National Drug Control Policy Community Prevention Listserv
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Coalitions Online
Join Together
University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research
U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
NCADI Update Listserve
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
Lions Quest

If you would like us to mention your listserve in an upcoming edition of the Pride Surveys newsletter, please drop us a line.