WASHINGTON Millions of U.S. teens attend
"drug-infested schools" where students routinely see drugs
used, sold or kept on schools grounds, according to a national
survey of attitudes on substance abuse released on Thursday.
Thirty-one percent of high school students -- more than
4million -- see drug dealing, illegal drug use or students high
or drunk at least once a week on their school grounds, said the
annual survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
Nine percent of middle school students, or more than 1
million, at least once a week see classmates engaging in
drug-related activity at school, the survey found.
The results also show that since 2002, the proportion of
students who attend schools where drugs are used, kept or sold
soared 39 percent for high school students and 63 percent for
those in middle school.
From 2006 to 2007, the proportion jumped 20 percent for
high school students and 35 percent for middle school students,
according to the survey.
CASA chairman Joseph Califano, a former U.S. health
secretary, warned that too many schools had become open drug
bazaars for teens.
The survey shows that "our nation's youth are drenched in a
culture where drug and alcohol abuse are commonplace and that
drug-infested schools encourage the idea that it's cool to get
high and drunk," Califano said in a statement.
"Parents should wake up to this reality ... and do
something about it," he said.
Only 11 percent of the parents surveyed see drugs as their
teen's greatest concern, but twice as many teens say drugs are
their biggest concern.
The survey of 1,063 12- to 17-year-olds and 550 parents was
conducted April 2 to May 13. It has a sampling error of plus or
minus 3 percent for teens and plus or minus 4 percent for