More Idaho High-schoolers Have Used Marijuana

2012-02-21T01:45:00Z 2012-05-04T07:50:19Z More Idaho High-schoolers Have Used MarijuanaBy Julie Wootton - jwootton@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News

TWIN FALLS • About 35 percent of Idaho high school students surveyed last year reported using marijuana at least once.

And nearly 19 percent — about one in five students — said they used the illegal drug within the past 30 days. That’s up by about 5 percent over 2009.

Those statistics are included in the 2011 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey, released earlier this month by the Idaho State Department of Education.

Kim Dopson, clinical director for Pro Active Advantage in Twin Falls, said some teenagers say marijuana is more accessible to them than alcohol.

“It is becoming dangerously prevalent,” she said.

Pro Active Advantage provides a variety of health services, including substance abuse treatment for adults and teens through locations in Gooding, Twin Falls and Burley.

Dopson said some teens are experimenting with marijuana, but it may be difficult for parents to know which behavioral signs to look for.

“The more information they get, the better they can respond to kids’ needs,” she said.

More than 1,700 students participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey last spring at 48 randomly selected public high schools around Idaho. The locations of the schools weren’t released.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the survey, which covers categories such as injuries, tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, sexual behaviors that result in sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies, dietary behaviors, and physical activity.

State and local education officials weren’t available to comment on survey results Monday due to the Presidents Day holiday.

Under the drug use section, Idaho students surveyed reported using marijuana more than other illegal drugs.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

About 3 percent of students surveyed said they’d used heroin at least once, while 7 percent have used cocaine, 3 percent have used methamphetamine and 9 percent have used ecstasy.

Ron Jones, a licensed clinical professional counselor for Positive Connections in Twin Falls, said many teenagers experiment with alcohol or drugs.

“What concerns me is the statistic of adolescents who need treatment but aren’t getting it,” he said.

More than 5 percent of Idaho teenagers — between ages 12 and 17 — need treatment for drug use but don’t receive it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.

Positive Connections stopped providing drug and alcohol treatment about three months ago, Jones said, due to funding constraints.

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. escape
    Report Abuse
    escape - February 22, 2012 9:50 pm
    Nearly every law enforcement officer in the Magic Valley is a former high school student in his/her respective community. I personally graduated from high school in 1979 with former City of Twin Falls Chief of Police James Munn Jr.

    It occurs to me that if every acquaintance and school-mate of these police officers reports on their experience(s) smoking marijuana with them, these ridiculous arrests might come to an end. The photographs depict officers who are incredulous about the amount of "pot" in their jurisdictions. Yet, only a few years ago, they were out searching for the green stuff to smoke with their "pothead" classmates.

    Please TELL ON your law enforcement high school buddy! Make him/her and example of hypocrisy.

    Scott Andrus
    Twin Falls
  2. RevSmoke
    Report Abuse
    RevSmoke - February 22, 2012 3:59 pm
    Well I'll be damned. I knew meth was legal to prescribe to patients with severe sleeping disorders but ADHD now? And it's controversial to give medical marijuana given to youth? We give them powerful stimulants when they are children and when they don't feel normal as adults so they use the street version of the same drugs, we throw them in prison! WAKE UP PEOPLE! SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE...
  3. Jim_Bob
    Report Abuse
    Jim_Bob - February 22, 2012 9:15 am
    I love how marijuana is the problem with 18.8% of kids admitting they tried it yet twice as many kids (39%) have tried cigarettes at least once, 65% have tried alcohol and 23% admitted to carrying weapons. I guess it must have been the marijuana that did that to them?
  4. claygooding
    Report Abuse
    claygooding - February 22, 2012 6:33 am
    ""Ron Jones, a licensed clinical professional counselor for Positive Connections in Twin Falls, said many teenagers experiment with alcohol or drugs. “What concerns me is the statistic of adolescents who need treatment but aren’t getting it,” he said. More than 5 percent of Idaho teenagers — between ages 12 and 17 — need treatment for drug use but don’t receive it, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. Positive Connections stopped providing drug and alcohol treatment about three months ago, Jones said, due to funding constraints.""

    Mr Jones makes his living providing "counseling" for court appointed rehab patients,,suddenly funding is cut off due to our economical crunch and he is advertising here,hoping his funding will be renewed if he can scare enough parents into supporting his work.

    Mr Jones,your use of statistics from NIDA is especially meaningful if you include all the statistics,,such as the fact that marijuana is the same addiction level as caffeine,
    with less severe withdrawel symptoms.




  5. claygooding
    Report Abuse
    claygooding - February 22, 2012 6:22 am
    It is hard to believe that people can't look back at our history and see that "marijuana" was legal for thousands of years until our government decided to ban the most therapeutic plant in nature because of propaganda spread by the government and the largest newspaper chain in America and to this day our government keeps pumping smoke and lies to keep it prohibited.

    So children,adults and animals used hemp before we banned it and apparently we made it through thousands of years of useby them without the world ending,,and we will do just fine when people quit listening to their government,,again.
  6. Duncan20903
    Report Abuse
    Duncan20903 - February 22, 2012 6:21 am
    RevSmoke said: "WELL why don't we measure the LEGAL crack we give our kids? Aderall and Ritalin are powerful stimulants! Aderall is amphetamine! AMPHETAMINE! What is meth? METH-AMPHETAMINE!...

    One need not stretch Adderall or Ritalin into methamphetamine equivalents to say that doctors are prescribing methamphetamine to youth. Desoxyn® is methamphetamine. Not similar to, not from the same family of drugs as Novocaine is from the cocaine family, Desoxyn® is methamphetamine hydrochloride. It's FDA approved for schoolchildren as young as age 6. For the ADHD you know.
    http://www.rxlist.com/desoxyn-drug.htm

    Just take a look at the little boy in the methamphetamine advertisement I've linked above, isn't he just as cute as a button? It's easy to tell just from looking at him that he's beside himself with joy, and knows very well that he's one lucky young man to have a doctor issued prescription for medicinal methamphetamine.

  7. IdahoHeathen
    Report Abuse
    IdahoHeathen - February 21, 2012 11:20 am
    As long as it is "black market" then marijuana will ALWAYS be more accessible to teens than alcohol. While I strongly support the decriminalization of marijuana, I _do_ believe that there is a good reason that we have a legal age limit for the consumption of alcohol and that marijuana should be no different once it is legal. Only ADULTS should be allowed to make the decision whether or not to consume alcohol OR marijuana. But as long as kids are finding out that their schools, the media, and law enforcement are LYING to them about the dangers of pot then their immediate instinct to to ask "what else are they lying about?" Let's be honest with our kids. Pot may be harmless for the vast majority of people, but it's only harmless for adults who can make informed decisions for themselves. Kids aren't ready to make these decisions for themselves but by keeping pot in the shadows we're making it _EASIER_ for them to experiment rather than harder. Parents should have serious, honest conversations with their kids about drugs - not regurgitate scare tactics that kids already know are dishonest.
  8. jgeorge
    Report Abuse
    jgeorge - February 21, 2012 9:54 am
    It would be nice if this article was a bit more thorough in its information. Substance use trends would suggest that an increase in marijuana usage meant there was a decrease somewhere else. Was it alcohol, prescription drugs? Either of those are more dangerous than marijuana but that is not the point. The point would be to know what is actually going on and measure the real amount of harm instead of trumping up another ''anti marijuana'' article. Our kids are more connected to the internet than we ever were. They can easily get online and find that marijuana is the safest substance and see all the ''studies'' that have been faked and since disproved. Our substance education is going to get no where if we try to act like marijuana is terribly harmful, they're going to see right through it and then discount everything we say as untrustworthy. Instead we need to educate them on human nature and how that applies to substance use. HOW and WHY people become addicted to something, whether it is food, alcohol, or even pot. The desire to pleasure yourself often goes unnoticed. There are obvious patterns that occur in any type of addiction that children should be made aware of. That way they are able to exercise more self discipline and responsible decision making later in their lives. The current ''this is bad'' garbage we throw at them is an ignorant and poor way of educating that goes against actual human behavior. Scare tactics might sound good, but lets be honest, teenagers aren't scared of anything. Real education, not outdated fear, is going to get us alot further with them.
  9. RevSmoke
    Report Abuse
    RevSmoke - February 21, 2012 9:02 am
    WELL why don't we measure the LEGAL crack we give our kids? Aderall and Ritalin are powerful stimulants! Aderall is amphetamine! AMPHETAMINE! What is meth? METH-AMPHETAMINE! Whats the difference? NOTHING EXCEPT YOU CAN SMOKE THE LATTER! Marijuana is the safest drug known to mankind and if my future children felt like experimenting I would much rather have it be a little bit of pot instead of alcohol or their friends prescription CRACK.

Read the Terms of Use for Magicvalley.com.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick


Ask Us!

Ask us a question and we'll email you an answer.