Drug and Alcohol Use

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Drug and alcohol use

Drug and/or alcohol use can be a risk factor for delinquency, as discussed in this section, or a delinquent act when youth are arrested for the illegal use of drugs or alcohol. The Illinois Department of Human Services' annual Illinois Youth Survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders found girls were more likely to use alcohol, inhalants, pain pills, other prescription drugs, and over the counter weight loss aids than boys.(6)

In 2006, 63 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys drank alcohol in the past year. Sixteen percent of girls admitted using pain pills and 14 percent admitted other prescription drug use in the past year, compared to 14 percent and 13 percent of boys, respectively. Boys were more likely to smoke cigarettes, and use smokeless tobacco, marijuana, cocaine/ crack, hallucinogens, ecstasy, methamphetamine, uppers/downers, steroids, and over the counter performance enhancing drugs. Table 1 indicates the percentage of past year drug use by gender.

Table 1
Percentage of students indicating past year drug use by gender, 2006

Female Male
Alcohol 62.5% 59.7%
Cigarettes 21.7% 22.3%
Smokeless tobacco 7.1% 14.6%
Inhalants 8.9% 7.8%
Marijuana 24.6% 27.2%
Cocaine/ crack 2.6% 3.4%
Hallucinogens 1.5% 2.7%
Ecstasy 1.7% 3.2%
Methamphetamine 0.7% 0.8%
Uppers 3.0% 4.3%
Downers 2.9% 3.7%
Pain pills 16.0% 14.0%
Steroids 0.2% 1.1%
Other prescription drugs 13.9% 12.8%
OTC performance enhancing drugs 3.2% 8.5%
OTC weight loss aids 4.6% 1.6%

 Source: Illinois Department of Human Services

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