Use of alcohol in the past 30 days (grades 9-12)
Significance of this indicator:
Alcohol use is associated with many youth related risk behaviors, motor vehicle crashes and youth related deaths by drowning, suicide and homicide. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, youth who drink alcohol are four times more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol than those who wait until adulthood to use alcohol. Additionally, alcohol use among youth may affect brain development.
How we are doing:
The proportion of students in Pueblo City Schools who report having had a least one drink in the past 30 days has continued to decrease from 2009 to 2012 by nearly seven percentage points for middle school students and by over eleven percentage points for high school students. However, in 2011 (the most current data for all of Colorado), this indicator of alcohol use is higher for Pueblo City Schools' middle and high school students than statewide figures. In fact, Pueblo City Schools' middle school students report alcohol use that is nearly four times greater than their counterparts elsewhere in the state.
Please note that the data for Pueblo is now reported for all of Pueblo County, not just Pueblo City Schools. Pueblo's middle school numbers only include grades 7 and 8, whereas Colorado's middle school numbers include grade 6.
In 2013, the percentage of Pueblo's high school students (now reporting all of Pueblo County's students) is close to the same percentage they were in 2012. The percentage of Colorado's high school students who report having had a least one drink in the past 30 days has decreased by over five percentage points since 2011.
The proportion of middle school students in Pueblo County who report having had a least one drink in the past 30 days has decreased by close to four percentage points (noting that 2013 numbers include all of Pueblo students and the years prior include only Pueblo City School students). The percentage for Colorado's middle school students remains close to the same since 2011.
What the data tell us:
Percent of students who report having at least one alcoholic drink in past 30 days.
Healthy Kids Colorado Survey: Colorado Department of Education and Pueblo City Schools.
Colorado administers the survey every two years in the fall; Colorado began collecting data from middle school students in 2011.