The Lieutenant Governor announced that cigarette smoking and binge drinking is down according to the 2008 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey. The governor's press office says the 2008 survey confirms the continuing trend of prescription drug abuse and highlights the need for future prevention efforts.
It says the past 30-day use of cigarettes among students is half of what is was in 2000. And binge drinking is down by four percent. However, 4.5% of high school seniors abused pain relievers in the past 30 days and 3.8% reported abusing prescription drugs.
The 2008 survey also included a new poll question on over-the-counter drugs. Middle schoolers and high schoolers were asked about their use of drugs such as cold and cough medications in order to get high. The survey says the lifetime prevalence of this type of drug abuse is 4.9% higher than the rate of any illegal drug except marijuana.