Cross-Site Data / YRBS Substance Use Among High-School Students

Domain: Substance Use
Indicator: Substance Use Among High-School Students
Data Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
Time Period: 2013 and 2015
 
Download full Cross-Site DataSubstance Use Among High-School Students
 
The biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is the survey component of a CDC surveillance system program that monitors health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults in the United States. Weighted survey estimates of alcohol and drug use are presented for the nation and the YRBS state and large urban school district catchment areas that most closely represent each NDEWS SCS. Only jurisdictions with an overall response rate >60% are presented; the weighted estimates for state and large urban school districts are representative of all students in grades 9–12 attending public schools in each of their respective jurisdictions. [1] (See Overview & Limitations Report of YRBS for the overall response rate for each jurisdiction). The weighted national YRBS estimates are representative of all students in grades 9–12 attending public and private schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. [1] (See YRBS—United States, 2015 for more information about the CDC surveillance system program and specifics about the YRBS survey methodology.) 
 
In 2015, data were not available for 5 NDEWS sites [2] and YRBS regions did not correspond exactly to the catchment areas of each NDEWS SCS [3]. Results for 9 YRBS reporting areas representing 7 of the 12 NDEWS SCSs are presented in the YRBS Cross-Site Data Presentation.  See Figures and Tables for description of the YRBS catchment areas, where available, used to represent each NDEWS SCS.
 
  • Figures 2a−2k compare national estimates with each state or large urban school district estimate based on t-test analyses. Prevalence estimates are considered statistically different if the p value by t-test is <0.05. In Figures 2a-2k, SCSs with higher-than-national estimates are indicated by a red diamond; SCSs with estimates that are lower than national estimates are indicated by a green diamond, and sites that are not considered statistically different are indicated by a blue diamonds. 
  • Tables 2a and 2b show changes between 2013 and 2015 estimates of lifetime and past month use of selected substances for each reporting area. Based on t-test analyses, prevalence estimates are considered statistically different if the p value is <0.05. In Tables 2a and 2b, increases between 2013 and 2105 are indicated by red arrows and decreases by green arrows.
 
Highlights

Lifetime Use of Selected Substances: Alcohol, cigarettes (not shown), and marijuana were the three most widely used substances among high-school students in the United States and the 7 NDEWS SCSs with available data for 2015. (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Alcohol Use: Nationwide, 63.2% of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day during their life (i.e., ever drank alcohol). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime alcohol use ranged from 43.5% (CI: 39.6–47.6) in San Francisco to 62.8% (CI: 60.3–65.2) in Southeastern Florida (Miami-Dade County). (Table 2a and Figure 2a)
    • The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use was lower among students in 4 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Los Angeles, Maine, San Francisco, and Detroit) than among students in the national sample. (Figure 2a)
    • The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in 2 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Maine and Los Angeles) and increased significantly in 1 NDEWS SCS reporting area (Detroit). (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Marijuana Use: Nationwide, 38.6% of students had used marijuana one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used marijuana). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime use of marijuana ranged from 28.7% (CI: 24.6–33.2) in San Francisco to 41.7% (CI: 38.0–45.6) in Detroit. (Table 2a and Figure 2b)
    • The prevalence of lifetime marijuana use was lower among students in 3 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Maine, San Francisco, and Miami-Dade County) than among students in the national sample. (Figure 2b)
    • The prevalence of lifetime marijuana use increased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in 1 NDEWS reporting area (Detroit). (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Prescription Drug Use: Nationwide, 16.8% of students had taken prescription drugs (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, codeine, Adderall, Ritalin, or Xanax) without a doctor’s prescription one or more times during their life (i.e., ever took prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime prescription drug misuse (used without a doctor’s prescription) ranged from 9.5% (CI: 7.8–11.6) in Los Angeles to 13.9% (CI: 12.2–15.8) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County). (Table 2a and Figure 2c)
    • The prevalence of having ever taken prescription drugs with a doctor’s prescription was lower among students in all 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available than among students in the national sample. (Figure 2c)
    • The prevalence of lifetime prescription drug misuse decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in 1 NDEWS reporting area (Maine). (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Synthetic Cannabinoid Use: Nationwide, 9.2% of students had used “synthetic marijuana” (also called “K2,” “Spice,” “fake weed,” “King Kong,” “Yucatan Fire,” “Skunk,” or “Moon Rocks”) one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used “synthetic marijuana”). Across the 5 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime synthetic cannabinoid use ranged from 5.4% (CI: 4.6–6.3) in New York City to 10.7% (CI: 9.0-12.6) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County). (Table 2a and Figure 2d)
    • The prevalence of having ever used “synthetic marijuana” was lower among students in 4 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Los Angeles, New York City, Miami-Dade County, and Detroit) than among students in the national sample. (Figure 2d)
    • Data were not collected in 2013 so no trends could be analyzed.
 
  • Lifetime Inhalant Use: Nationwide, 7.0% of students had sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used inhalants). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, inhalant use ranged from 5.1% (CI: 3.9–6.7) in San Francisco to 10.5% (CI: 8.7–12.7) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County). (Table 2a and Figure 2e)
    • The prevalence of having ever used inhalants was higher among students in 2 of the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas with available data (Palm Beach County and Detroit) than among students in the national sample. (Figure 2e)
    • The prevalence of lifetime inhalant use decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in the national sample and 2 NDEWS reporting area (Maine and Los Angeles). (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Cocaine Use: Nationwide, 5.2% of students had used any form of cocaine (e.g., powder, crack, or freebase) one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used cocaine). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime cocaine use ranged from 4.4% (CI: 3.6–5.3) in New York City to 7.0% (CI: 5.8–8.5) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County) in 2015. (Table 2a and Figure 2f)
    • The prevalence of having ever used cocaine was higher among students in 1 NDEWS reporting area (Palm Beach County of Southeastern Florida SCS) than among students in the national sample (Figure 2f)
    • The prevalence of lifetime cocaine use among high-school students did not change significantly between 2013 and 2015 across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available.  (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Ecstasy Use: Nationwide, 5.0% of students had used ecstasy (also called “MDMA”) one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used ecstasy). Across the 4 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime ecstasy/MDMA use ranged from 4.2% (CI: 2.5–7.1) in Philadelphia to 9.1% (CI: 7.2–11.5) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County). (Table 2a and Figure 2g)
    • The prevalence of having ever used ecstasy/MDMA was higher among students in 1 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Palm Beach County of Southeastern Florida SCS) than among students in the national sample (Figure 2g)
    • The prevalence of lifetime ecstasy/MDMA decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in the national sample and 3 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and all three counties in Southeastern Florida). (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Methamphetamine Use: Nationwide, 3.0% of students had used methamphetamines (also called “speed,” “crystal,” “crank,” or “ice”) one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used methamphetamines). Across the 5 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime methamphetamine use ranged from 3.2% (CI: 2.2–4.6) in Miami-Dade County to 5.8% (CI: 4.4–7.7) in Palm Beach County. Both counties are included in the Southeastern Florida NDEWS reporting area. (Table 2a and Figure 2h)
    • The prevalence of having ever used methamphetamine was higher among students in 1 NDEWS reporting area (Palm Beach County of Southeastern Florida SCS) than among students in the national sample (Figure 2h)
    • The prevalence of lifetime methamphetamine use among high-school students did not change significantly between 2013 and 2015 across the 5 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available. (Table 2a)
 
  • Lifetime Heroin Use: Nationwide, 2.1% of students had used heroin (also called “smack,” “junk,” or “China White”) one or more times during their life (i.e., ever used heroin). Across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, lifetime heroin use ranged from 2.0% (CI: 1.1–3.7) in Los Angeles to 5.7 (CI: 4.2–7.8) in Southeastern Florida (Palm Beach County). (Table 2a and Figure 2i)
    • The prevalence of having ever used heroin was higher among students in 2 NDEWS reporting area (Broward and Palm Beach Counties of the Southeastern Florida SCS and Detroit) than among students in the national sample (Figure 2i)
    • The prevalence of lifetime heroin use among high-school students did not change significantly between 2013 and 2015 across the 6 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available.  (Table 2a)
 
Past Month Use of Selected Substances: Data on past month use of alcohol, tobacco (data not shown), and marijuana were available for the 2013 and 2015 YRBSs. Current use is defined as using on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. (Table 2b)
 
  • Past Month Marijuana Use: Nationwide, 21.7% of students had used marijuana one or more times during the 30 days before the survey (i.e., current marijuana use). Across the 7 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, past month marijuana use ranged from 15.9% (CI: 13.9–18.0) in New York City to 24.0% (CI: 21.5–26.6) in Southeastern Florida (Broward County). (Table 2b and Figure 2j)
    • The prevalence of current marijuana use was lower among students in 2 NDEWS reporting area (Los Angeles and New York City) than among students in the national sample (Figure 2j)
    • The prevalence of current marijuana use decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in 1 NDEWS SCS reporting area (Palm Beach County of Southeastern Florida SCS) and increased significantly in 1 NDEWS reporting area (Detroit). (Table 2b)
 
  • Past Month Binge alcohol Use: Nationwide, 17.7% of students had had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row (i.e., within a couple of hours) on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. Across the 7 NDEWS SCS reporting areas for which data were available, the prevalence of binge alcohol use ranged from 8.5% (CI: 7.3–9.9) in New York City to 16.5% (CI: 14.5–18.7) in Palm Beach County part of the Southeastern Florida SCS. (Table 2b and Figure 2k)
    • The prevalence of having had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row was lower among students in all 7 NDEWS SCS reporting areas than among students in the national sample (Figure 2k). Note that the Southeastern Florida SCS is represented by three reporting areas; in two of the three counties, there was no statistically significant difference between the County estimate and the national estimate.
    • The prevalence of binge alcohol use decreased significantly from 2013 to 2015 in the national sample and 2 NDEWS SCS reporting areas (Maine and New York City). (Table 2b)


[1Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United State, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016; 65(No. SS-6);1–174. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/ss/ss6506a1.htm Accessed on [10/11/2016].
[22015 YRBS results were unavailable for Chicago Metro, Atlanta Metro, Texas, Denver Metro, and King County. 
[3] The Detroit YRBS results are used to represent the Wayne County SCS even though Detroit does not represent the entire Wayne County catchment area and the Southeastern Florida (Miami Area) SCS reporting area includes separate results for each of the 3 counties making up the SCS reporting area (Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties).