Drug Use Trends Among Houston At-Risk Students: Findings From Houston's Safer Choices 2 Program

Ronald J. Peters, University of Texas
Susan Tortolero, Univ.of Texas Hlth Sci. Ctr. at Houston
Robert C. Addy, Univ.of Texas Hlth Sci. Ctr. at Houston
Christine Markham, Univ.of Texas Hlth Sci. Ctr. at Houston
Liliana Escobar-Chaves, Univ.of Texas Hlth Sci. Ctr. at Houston
George Yacoubian, Jr., McFarland and Associates, Inc.

ABSTRACT
Self-report drug use data were collected from 494 alternative school students, grades 7-12, surveyed through the Safer Choices 2 study in Houston, Texas. Data were collected between October 2000 and March 2001 via audio-enabled laptop computers equipped with headphones. Twenty-eight percent of the sample reported past-month marijuana use, and 10% reported past-month opiate/codeine use. Males were almost twice as likely as females to have used cocaine during the past month, and over four times as likely to have used opiates/codeine during the past month. Students 16 years and older and were twice as likely to have ever used cocaine and opiates/codeine than students under 16 years. Latinos were 10 times more likely than blacks to have ever used cocaine; blacks were twice as likely as Latinos to have used opiates/codeine during the past month. Males were twice as likely as females to have tried "fry," a new street drug composed of tobacco or marijuana mixed with embalming fluid and PCP. These new drug trends are startling because of the potential long-term treatment services needs for abusers.

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Updated 05/20/2006