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Alcohol Use Above National Average in New Rochelle Schools; 42% of High School Seniors Are Binge Drinkers

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Alcohol Use Above National Average in New Rochelle Schools; 42% of High School Seniors Are Binge Drinkers

July 30, 2013 - 02:23

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A survey of New Rochelle public school students, administered in the spring of 2009 and 2010 to students in grades 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th, shows a level of alcohol use higher than the national average across all grade levels.

The Communities That Cares Youth Survey found that alcohol (including beer, wine and hard liquor) is the drug used most often by adolescents today. New Rochelle City School District students reported a level of past 30-day use of alcohol that was higher than their national counterparts from the Monitoring the Future study. However, there was a decrease in every grade from 2009 to 2010.

The level of binge drinking was also found to be higher than the national average.

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Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a row within the past two weeks. As with alcohol use in general, binge drinking tends to become more pervasive as students continue through high school. Compared to national findings, New Rochelle City School District students reported higher rates of binge drinking in all grades. From 2009 to 2010, binge drinking decreased slightly in 8th and 10th graders, but a slight increase in 12th graders.

The Communities That Cares (CTC) Youth Survey was administered in the spring of 2009 and 2010 to students in grades 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th in the City School District of New Rochelle to measure substance use, delinquency and other problem behaviors in adolescents such as drug use and antisocial behaviors.

In 2009, there were 2,249 students and in 2010, there were 2,267 students who completed valid survey. In 2010, there were 651 students in 6th grade, 688 students in 8th grade, 524 students in 10th grade and 404 students in 12th grade who completed the surveys with half (50%) being male and half being female. The majority of the students identified themselves as Hispanic/Latino (35%), with the next largest group being White (27%) followed by African American (19%), Other/Multiple (16%), and Asian (3%).

Talk of the Sound recently obtained several reports and other documents related to School Safety and Security in the New Rochelle school system from the period 2009 to 2012. Some are low quality photocopies. We will present several of them over the coming weeks.

We are publishing data on the use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, inhalants, other drugs, antisocial behavior (physical fights on school property, being drunk or high at school, attacking someone with intent to harm, selling drugs), feeling unsafe at school and gang involvement.

To the best of our knowledge these annual reports were never shared with the public.