Protecting kids is the top priority of every parent and parents need to know what types of risks their children face. Every year since 1998, a survey of Massachusetts students has been conducted in order to provide more information to educators and parents about some of the dangers that children in the area are facing. The survey is administered both to sixth grade students as well as to high school kids in eighth through twelfth grade.
This year, the youth risk survey gave parents plenty of reason to be concerned. In addition to showing that as many as four percent of high school males and five percent of high school females had attempted suicide over the past year, the survey also showed that many kids were drinking alcohol despite being under the legal age to drink. The survey also showed that a lot of kids are using drugs. Our Boston injury attorneys know that when kids drink, they are at serious risk of sexual assault, alcohol poisoning and drunk driving accidents.
Teen Drinking And Drug-Use is a Dangerous Epidemic
The Harvard Press reported on the results of the Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey, indicating that:
- Sixty-three percent of seniors at one local area high school had consumed alcohol over the past spring.
- Thirty-five percent of all responding students in grades 9-12 indicated that they had consumed alcohol during the past spring.
- For grades 9-12 combined, 32 percent of female students and 39 percent of male students admitted to using alcohol in the month prior to the survey.
- Forty-percent of students in grade 12 indicated that they had recently used marijuana.
- Among all students in grades 9-12, 22 percent admitted that they had used marijuana in the prior month.
Students who take drugs or who use alcohol are likely not just to stay at home while drunk or on drugs but instead to attend school dances or events, to go to parties or to go places with their friends. The Harvard Press, for example, indicating that schools expressed concern about students who had recently come to school dances while intoxicated in the prior year.
When these students drank or do drugs and they go places, they get behind the wheel of a car. They put themselves in danger when they do this, but they also put every other driver who is on the road with them at risk as well. A drunk or high teen may be even more dangerous behind the wheel than an intoxicated adult since teens are already more likely to get into car wrecks because of their inexperience.
Parents Need to Take Teen Drinking Seriously
As this data shows, teen drinking is not a small problem but is something that many teenagers choose to do. Parents need to be aware of the high numbers of kids who use alcohol or drugs and every parent should be sure to stress the dangers of driving drunk or high.
If you or a loved one has been in a traffic accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Spate of Fatal Teen Crashes Highlight Need for Parental Involvement , Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 25, 2013