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Texas School Survey Of Drug And Alcohol Use

Burnet CISD

Secondary Executive Summary

Introduction

The Texas School Survey is an annual collection of self-reported tobacco, alcohol, inhalant, and
substance use data from among elementary and/or secondary students in individual districts throughout
the state of Texas. The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) in conjunction
with the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA), is also administered every other
year to a representative sample of Texas students in grades 4 through 6 and grades 7 through 12.

Data from the statewide sampling, last administered in 1996, are incorporated into an over-time
database maintained by TCADA to track trends in substance use so that policymakers at the state level
have up-to-date information upon which to base decisions and plot prevention strategies. These data
also serve as an overall standard of comparison for use by those at the district level to interpret, and act
upon, local survey findings in a similar way.

The executive summary begins with a section containing a general demographic overview of those who
took the survey in the participating district. This is followed by sections dealing with the various
substances covered by the survey---tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, and illicit drugs. The summary
concludes with a section that explores selected characteristics associated with substance use in the
district and a final one dealing with where students come by what they know about drugs and alcohol
and to whom they might turn if they thought they were having a problem.

For context, each section dealing with substance use will begin with a brief, over-time glimpse of the
statewide trends in the 1990's with regard to that substance. Use data are then sandwiched in between
subsections dealing with environment and, where the data are applicable, with behavior specifically
associated with substance use.

Items that are generally recognized as contributing to the environment in which substance use is most
likely to occur include availability, peer use, and parental attitudes. Included in the behavior category
are such things as "binge drinking" (the consuming of five or more alcoholic beverages at one time),
attending class drunk or stoned, use of alcohol or illicit drugs at parties, or operating a motor vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

As for the actual, self-reported use of each substance, it is important to note the frequency of such use.
Is it experimental, a once-in-a-lifetime thing? Is it casual use, a once-in-a-while behavior? Or is it
regular use, a monthly, weekly, or---in the case of tobacco products in particular---a daily habit?
Further, use data are used to differentiate those who smoke cigarettes from those who use a smokeless
tobacco product, those who drink beer from those who drink wine coolers, those who sniff correction
fluid from those who sniff glue, and those who smoke marijuana from those who snort powdered
cocaine.
Two final points should be noted about the data. First, due to the differences in rounding procedures,
there may be slight discrepancies between the percentages referred to in the tables and those reflected in
the executive summary and in the corresponding figures. Second, some data in this report are marked
with an asterisk. Data so marked are estimated to be statistically significant at the .01 level from the
comparable data for the state as a whole. This means that in only one of a hundred samples would a
difference this large have occurred when there was no difference between the district and state data.
Differences in very small districts will seldom be statistically significant due to the small number of
cases. Differences that are not marked may be important, but should be treated with more caution than
those that are statistically significant.

The percentages referred to in the executive summary that follows were taken from the tables found in
"Part I: District Survey Results." Figures referenced throughout this report are included in "Part III:
Executive Summary."

Demographic Overview

In the Spring of 1997, the Texas School Survey was administered to students in grades 8, 10, and 12 in
the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District (BCISD). A total of 488 students completed the
questionnaire. Of that number, 20 surveys were excluded from analysis because students did not
indicate their grade or age, or because they were identified as exaggerators (i.e., claimed to have used a
non-existent drug or reported overly excessive drug use). The completed surveys of an additional 18
students were eliminated because they identified themselves as being in a grade that was not a part of
the survey parameters for this district. The final number of surveys included in the overall district
analysis was 450, consisting of:

• Forty percent who are 8th graders, 34 percent who are 10th graders, and 25 percent who are 12th
graders;

• A fairly even split of male (48 percent) and female (52 percent) students;

• An ethnic breakdown that is three-quarters white (76 percent), 16 percent Mexican-American, 3


percent African-American, 1 percent Asian-American, 1 percent Native American, and 4 percent
other;

• Sixty-four percent who say they live in a two-parent home, and 69 percent who report they have
lived in the district for three or more years; and

• Forty percent who say their parent(s) are college graduates, and 27 percent who indicate they
qualify for free/reduced lunches at school.

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Tobacco

General tobacco use includes both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Between 1992 and
1996, those Texas students in grades 8, 10, and 12 who have reported experimental use of tobacco
products has stayed relatively flat in the 56 to 58 percent range, whereas the prevalence of those
students reporting past-month use---after holding steady at 21 percent in both 1992 and 1994---
increased sharply to 28 percent in 1996.

Overall, the use of tobacco products in general, and of cigarettes in particular, among Burnet CISD
10th grade students in 1997 is a good deal higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide in
1996. The experimental use of tobacco products, and of the smokeless variety in particular, among
BCISD 12th grade students is somewhat higher than that indicated by 12th grade students statewide.
The general use of tobacco products by district 8th grade students is similar to that reported by their
peers statewide.

Environment. Eighty-seven percent of BCISD students reported that cigarettes are somewhat or very
easy to get (78 percent statewide), while 33* percent said most or all of their close friends smoke
cigarettes (22 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated by students statewide.

Nearly three-quarters of district students (72 percent) indicated that smokeless tobacco products are
somewhat or very easy to get (59 percent statewide), and 8 percent said most or all of their close
friends use smokeless tobacco (5 percent statewide).

Only 20* percent of Burnet Consolidated students believe that tobacco use is "very dangerous," a rate
significantly lower than that indicated by students statewide (36 percent) (Fig. 16).

Use. Over two-thirds of Burnet Consolidated students (67* percent) reported general tobacco use at
least once during their lifetimes (58 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Experimental use of tobacco products
was reported by 53 percent of district 8th graders (52 percent statewide). Seventy-eight* percent of
Burnet Consolidated 10th grade students (60 percent statewide) and 76* percent of BCISD 12th grade
students (63 percent statewide) said they had used a tobacco product at least one time during their
lives; rates considerably higher than those indicated by 10th and 12th grade students statewide (Fig. 3).

Thirty-seven* percent of Burnet CISD students said they had used a tobacco product during the past
month (28 percent statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month general tobacco use was reported by 25 percent of
BCISD 8th grade students (23 percent statewide) and 34 percent of district 12th grade students (34
percent statewide). Over half of Burnet Consolidated 10th graders (53* percent) said they had used a
tobacco product during the past month, a rate a good deal higher than that indicated by 10th graders
statewide (30 percent) (Fig. 4).

Nearly two-thirds of Burnet Consolidated students (65* percent) reported smoking cigarettes at least
once during their lifetimes (56 percent statewide), while 34* percent said they had smoked cigarettes
during the past month (26 percent statewide), and 14* percent reported smoking cigarettes on a daily
basis (9 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated by students statewide. Daily cigarette use
was reported by 5 percent of Burnet CISD 8th graders (5 percent statewide) and 18 percent of BCISD

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12th graders (14 percent statewide). More than a fifth of district 10th grade students (21* percent) said
they smoke cigarettes on a daily basis, nearly double the rate indicated by 10th grade students statewide
(11 percent).

Experimental use of smokeless tobacco products was reported by 25* percent of BCISD students (18
percent statewide), 9 percent said they had used a smokeless tobacco product during the past month (6
percent statewide), and 3 percent reported using a smokeless tobacco product on a daily basis (2
percent statewide).

Alcohol

Alcohol is the most widely used substance among students statewide and in the Burnet CISD.
Experimental alcohol use among Texas students in grades 8, 10, and 12 decreased slightly between
1992 (79 percent) and 1996 (76 percent), while past-month use has held relatively steady in the 40
percent range throughout this same period.

Overall, Burnet CISD 10th grade students are drinking alcohol in 1997 at rates considerably higher than
those reported by their peers statewide in 1996, while such use among BCISD 8th and 12th grade
students is somewhat similar to that indicated by their counterparts statewide.

Environment. Nearly half of district students (49* percent) reported most or all of their close friends
drink alcohol (40 percent statewide), and 85* percent said beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor were
somewhat easy or very easy to obtain (79 percent statewide); rates higher than those indicated by
students statewide.

BCISD students were asked where they obtained alcohol most of the time or always: 47 percent
responded "at parties" (46 percent statewide), 43 percent said "from friends" (42 percent statewide),
and 14 percent reported they get alcohol "from the store" (19 percent statewide).

Parental attitudes can be a major factor in whether or not a student uses alcohol. When asked how their
parents feel about kids their age drinking beer, 69* percent of Burnet Consolidated students said their
parents strongly or mildly disapprove (76 percent statewide), and 16* percent said their parents neither
approve nor disapprove (11 percent statewide); rates significantly lower and higher, respectively, than
those indicated by students statewide. Ten percent of district students said they "don't know" how their
parents feel about kids their age drinking beer (8 percent statewide) (Fig. 17).

Just over a third of BCISD students (36 percent) feel that it is "very dangerous" to use alcohol (43
percent statewide) (Fig. 16).

Use. Eighty-three* percent of Burnet Consolidated students reported consuming alcohol at least once
during their lifetimes, compared to 76 percent of students statewide (Fig. 1). Experimental use of
alcohol was reported by 73 percent of BCISD 8th graders (68 percent statewide) and 92 percent of
district 12th graders (85 percent statewide). Eighty-nine* percent of Burnet Consolidated 10th grade
students said they had consumed alcohol at least one time during their lives, a rate higher than that
indicated by 10th grade students statewide (79 percent) (Fig. 5).
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Forty-five percent of Burnet CISD students said they had consumed alcohol during the past month (40
percent statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month alcohol use was reported by 30 percent of BCISD 8th graders
(32 percent statewide) and 47 percent of district 12th graders (51 percent statewide). Sixty-one*
percent of Burnet Consolidated 10th grade students said they had consumed alcohol during the past
month, a rate considerably higher than that reported by 10th grade students statewide (42 percent) (Fig.
6).

The alcoholic beverages most often consumed by Burnet Consolidated students are beer (69*
percent/59 percent statewide) and wine coolers (70* percent/62 percent statewide); rates higher than
those indicated by students statewide. Forty percent of BCISD students said they drink beer on a
weekly or monthly basis (35 percent statewide), and 38 percent said they drink wine coolers weekly or
monthly (32 percent statewide).

Behavior Associated With Use. "Binge drinking" is the consumption of five or more beers, wine
coolers, servings of wine, or drinks with liquor at one time. BCISD students are "binge drinking" beer
and wine coolers at rates higher than those reported by their counterparts statewide. Over half of
Burnet CISD students (52* percent) reported "binge drinking" beer at least once during their lifetimes
(40 percent statewide), while 29* percent said they usually drink five or more beers at a time on
average when they drink (21 percent statewide). One-time "binge drinking" of wine coolers was
reported by 54* percent of BCISD students (41 percent statewide), while 26* percent said they usually
drink five or more wine coolers at a time on average when they drink (19 percent statewide).

Ten percent of Burnet Consolidated students reported attending at least one class during the past school
year while “drunk” (10 percent statewide). Attending class while intoxicated was reported by 6 percent
of BCISD 8th graders (9 percent statewide) and 6 percent of district 12th graders (11 percent
statewide). Sixteen percent of Burnet Consolidated 10th graders indicated attending at least one class
during the past school year while "drunk" (10 percent statewide) (Figs. 12a and 12b).

Over a quarter of BCISD 10th and 12th grade students (27* percent) said that they had driven a car
after having "a good bit to drink" at least once during the past year (18 percent statewide). Driving
while intoxicated was reported by 27* percent of Burnet Consolidated 10th graders, more than twice
the rate indicated by 10th graders statewide (12 percent). Twenty-seven percent of BCISD 12th grade
students also said they had operated a motor vehicle at least one time during the past year while under
the influence of alcohol (26 percent statewide). Driving while intoxicated four or more times during the
past year was reported by 9 percent of district 10th and 12th graders (5 percent statewide) (Fig. 14).

Nearly half of Burnet Consolidated students (45 percent) said alcohol was used at most or all of the
parties they attended during the past year (41 percent statewide). Alcohol use at most or all parties was
reported by 18 percent of BCISD 8th grade students (22 percent statewide) and 64 percent of district
12th grade students (61 percent statewide). Almost two-thirds of Burnet Consolidated 10th grade
students (65* percent) indicated alcohol was used at most or all of the parties they attended in the past
school year, a rate a good deal higher than that reported by 10th grade students statewide (48 percent)
(Figs. 15a and 15b).

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One percent of BCISD students said they had gotten into trouble with their teacher because of alcohol
use at least once during the past school year (2 percent statewide), while 9 percent reported they had
gotten in trouble with the police because of their alcohol use during the past year (5 percent statewide),
and 10 percent said they had "difficulties of any kind" with friends because of their own drinking (10
percent statewide).

Inhalants

In general, inhalants are common, licit substances (paints, thinners, correction fluid, glue, etc.) which,
when sniffed, huffed, or inhaled, produce an intoxicating effect. Lifetime and past-month inhalant use
percentages have been adjusted to reflect reported use of both specific inhalants and inhalant use
generally. This adjustment was made because some students responded positive to specific use without
responding positive to generic use, while some students responded positive to generic use but not
specific inhalants.

In 1992, just under a quarter of Texas students in grades 8, 10, and 12 (23 percent) indicated they had
experimented with an inhalant at least once in their lives. Over the next two years, this lifetime use
dipped to 19 percent and stayed flat through 1996. Past-month use has held steady at 5 percent
throughout this period.

Overall, Burnet CISD students are using inhalants in 1997 at rates somewhat similar to those reported
by their counterparts statewide in 1996, although experimental use of these substances among BCISD
10th grade students is higher than that indicated by their peers statewide.

Environment. Two percent of BCISD students reported most or all of their close friends use inhalants
(3 percent statewide), and just over three-quarters (76 percent) believe that inhalant use is "very
dangerous" (77 percent statewide) (Fig. 16).

Use. Twenty-one percent of Burnet Consolidated students reported using inhalants at least once during
their lifetimes (19 percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Lifetime inhalant use was reported by 16 percent of
BCISD 12th grade students (14 percent statewide) and 19 percent of district 8th grade students (24
percent statewide). Over a quarter of Burnet Consolidated 10th graders (28* percent) said they had
used an inhalant at least one time during their lives, in contrast to the 18 percent indicated by 10th
graders statewide (Fig. 7).

Five percent of Burnet CISD students said they had used inhalants during the past month (5 percent
statewide) (Fig. 2). Past-month inhalant use was reported by 6 percent of district 8th graders (7 percent
statewide), 5 percent of Burnet Consolidated 10th graders (4 percent statewide), and 3 percent of
BCISD 12th graders (2 percent statewide) (Fig. 8).

The inhalant substance most frequently used by Burnet Consolidated students was correction
fluid/whiteout (10 percent/9 percent statewide). Eight percent of district students reported inhaling
substances in the "other inhalants" category (8 percent statewide), 8 percent said they had inhaled
liquid/spray paint (7 percent statewide), 6 percent reported inhaling gasoline (5 percent statewide), 5
percent said they had inhaled glue (5 percent statewide), 5 percent said they had inhaled paint thinner (5
percent statewide), and 4 percent reported inhaling substances in the "other sprays" category (3 percent
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statewide) at least once during their lifetimes.

Thirteen percent of BCISD students said they had used two or more different kinds of inhalant
substances during their lifetimes (11 percent statewide).

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are defined as controlled substances and include marijuana, cocaine (powdered form and
crack), uppers (stimulants), downers (narcotics), hallucinogens, and ecstasy.

In 1992, as a general downward trend in the use of these substances bottomed out, nearly a quarter of
Texas students in grades 8, 10, and 12 reported experimental use of an illegal drug (24 percent),
marijuana in particular (21 percent), while 8 percent said they had used an illegal substance during the
past month, and 7 percent indicated that marijuana was that drug. Two years later, the number of these
students indicating they had experimented with an illegal substance jumped to 30 percent (28 percent
for marijuana), while the number reporting past-month use nearly doubled for both illicit drugs in
general (15 percent) and marijuana in particular (13 percent). This upward surge continued through
1996, as 36 percent said they had experimented with an illegal drug (33 percent for marijuana), and 19
percent indicated past-month use of an illicit substance (17 percent for marijuana).

Overall, the use of illicit drugs, and of marijuana in particular, among Burnet CISD 10th grade students
in 1997 is higher than that reported by their counterparts statewide in 1996, while such use by BCISD
12th grade students is somewhat higher than that reported by 12th grade students statewide, and use of
illicit drugs by district 8th grade students is somewhat lower than that indicated by 8th grade students
statewide.

Environment. Sixty percent of BCISD students said marijuana was somewhat or very easy to obtain
(56 percent statewide), and 23 percent reported most or all of their close friends smoke marijuana (22
percent statewide).

When asked about parental attitudes toward marijuana use, Burnet Consolidated students reported a
disapproval rate of 85 percent (87 percent statewide). Eight percent of district students said they "don't
know" how their parents feel about kids their age using marijuana (7 percent statewide), while 5 percent
said their parents neither approve nor disapprove (4 percent statewide) (Fig. 17).

Over half of Burnet Consolidated students (53 percent) believe that marijuana use is "very dangerous"
(58 percent statewide). As for how BCISD students perceive other illicit substances: 66 percent feel
that the use of ecstasy is "very dangerous" (69 percent statewide), 85 percent believe that powdered
cocaine use is "very dangerous" (87 percent statewide), and 86 percent feel that the use of crack is
"very dangerous" (89 percent statewide) (Fig. 16).

Use. In the Burnet CISD, 42 percent of students reported experimental use of an illicit drug (36
percent statewide). A third of BCISD students (33* percent) said they had used one or more illicit
substances three or more times, a rate significantly higher than that reported by students statewide (27
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percent).

Forty* percent of BCISD students reported smoking marijuana at least once in their lifetimes (33
percent statewide) (Fig. 1). Experimental use of marijuana was reported by 22 percent of Burnet
Consolidated 8th grade students (26 percent statewide). Fifty-one percent of district 12th graders (41
percent statewide) and 53* percent of BCISD 10th graders (36 percent statewide) said they had
smoked marijuana at least one time during their lives; rates higher than those indicated by 12th and 10th
graders statewide (Fig. 9).

Past-month marijuana use was reported by 18 percent of Burnet CISD students (17 percent statewide)
(Fig. 2). Smoking marijuana during the past month was reported by 9 percent of district 8th grade
students (14 percent statewide) and 22 percent of Burnet Consolidated 12th grade students (19 percent
statewide). Twenty-seven percent of BCISD 10th graders said they had smoked marijuana during the
past month, compared to 18 percent of 10th graders statewide (Fig. 10).

The next most frequently used illicit substances among Burnet CISD students were uppers (12
percent/9 percent statewide), powdered cocaine (10 percent/7 percent statewide), hallucinogens (9
percent/8 percent statewide), ecstasy (9 percent/6 percent statewide), and downers (8 percent/6 percent
statewide). Four percent of BCISD students reported using crack (3 percent statewide), and 1 percent
said they had used steroids (2 percent statewide) at least once during their lifetimes (Fig. 1).

Behavior Associated with Use. Fourteen percent of BCISD students reported attending at least one
class in the past year while "stoned" on marijuana (13 percent statewide). Attending class while stoned
was indicated by 8 percent of Burnet Consolidated 8th graders (11 percent statewide) and 10 percent
BCISD 12th graders (13 percent statewide). Nearly a quarter of district 10th grade students (23*
percent) indicated attending at least one class in the past year while "stoned" on marijuana, a rate higher
than that reported by 10th grade students statewide (14 percent) (Figs. 13a and 13b).

Driving under the influence of drugs at least once during the past year was reported by 22* percent of
Burnet CISD 10th and 12th grade students (13 percent statewide). Driving under the influence of
drugs was reported by 24* percent of BCISD 10th graders, over twice the rate reported by 10th
graders statewide (10 percent). Twenty percent of Burnet Consolidated 12th grade students said they
had operated a motor vehicle at least one time during the past year while under the influence of drugs
(17 percent statewide). Driving while stoned four or more times during the past year was reported by 6
percent of district 10th and 12th graders (5 percent statewide).

Nearly a third of the Burnet CISD students (30 percent) said that marijuana and/or other drugs were
used at most or all of the parties they attended during the school year (25 percent statewide). The use
of marijuana and/or other drugs at most or all parties was reported by 10 percent of district 8th graders
(15 percent statewide). Forty-one percent of Burnet Consolidated 12th grade students (33 percent
statewide) and 45* percent of BCISD 10th grade students (29 percent statewide) indicated that
marijuana and/or other drugs were used at most or all of the parties they attended during the school
year; rates higher than those reported by 12th and 10th graders statewide.

One percent of BCISD students said they had gotten into trouble with their teacher because of illicit
drug use at least once during the past school year (2 percent statewide), while 4 percent reported they
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had gotten in trouble with the police because of their use of illegal drugs during the past year (3 percent
statewide). Eleven* percent of district students said they had gotten into "difficulties of any kind" with
their friends during the past year because of their own drug use, a rate significantly higher than that
indicated by students statewide (7 percent).

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Characteristics Associated With Drug Use

In the statewide survey, and with the notable exception of uppers, female students were somewhat less
likely to have used an illicit drug than were male students. In the Burnet CISD, male students were
somewhat more likely to have used powdered cocaine or hallucinogens and over two times more likely
to have used crack than were their female counterparts. In addition, BCISD male students were the
only reported users of steroids in the district. On the other hand, Burnet Consolidated female students
were somewhat more likely to have used downers than were their male peers. There were no other
significant differences by gender among BCISD students with regard to the use of tobacco products,
alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, uppers, or ecstasy.

Statewide, students living in two-parent homes were somewhat less likely to have used tobacco
products, alcohol, inhalants, and illicit drugs than were those students living in other family situations.
BCISD students living in other family situations were somewhat more likely to have used marijuana,
powdered cocaine, or hallucinogens and nearly two times more likely to have used ecstasy than were
their counterparts living in homes with two parents. Further, Burnet Consolidated students living in
other family situations were the only reported users of steroids in the district. However, BCISD
students living in two-parent homes were somewhat more likely to have used downers than were their
peers living in other family situations. There were no other significant differences by living arrangement
among Burnet CISD students with regard to the use of tobacco products, alcohol, inhalants, crack, or
uppers.

In the statewide survey, students who reported having lived in town for more than three years were
slightly less likely to have used inhalants, marijuana, powdered cocaine, crack, and hallucinogens than
were those students who said they had lived in town for three years or less. In the Burnet CISD,
students who indicated they had lived in town for three years or less were somewhat more likely to
have used ecstasy than were those students who said they had lived in town for over three years. On
the other hand, students who indicated residency in town for more than three years were somewhat
more likely to have used crack than were those students who reported living in town three years or less.
There were no other significant differences by length of residency among BCISD students with regard
to the use of tobacco products, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, or other illicit substances.

Drug and Alcohol Information

The influence of drug education programs may be reflected in students' attitudes toward the use of
specific substances reported above. Eighty-five* percent of Burnet CISD students said they had gotten
information about drugs and alcohol from a school source since classes began in the Fall, compared to
75 percent of students statewide. "An assembly program" was reported by 70* percent of district
students as a source for information about drugs and alcohol (44 percent statewide), and 66* percent
said "an invited school guest" was a source for this information (38 percent statewide); rates a good
deal higher than those reported by students statewide. Only a quarter of BCISD students (27* percent)
reported getting information about drugs and alcohol from a "health class," a rate lower than that
indicated by students statewide (43 percent).

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When asked where they would go for help with a drug or alcohol problem, the largest percentage of
Burnet Consolidated students said they would seek help from their friends (77 percent/76 percent
statewide). Sixty percent of BCISD students said they would seek help from an adult friend or relative
(58 percent statewide), and 50 percent said they would turn to their parents (54 percent statewide).
District students are least likely to seek help for a drug or alcohol problem from a counselor or program
in school (25* percent/33 percent statewide), another adult in school, such as a teacher or nurse (25*
percent/31 percent statewide), or a medical doctor (28* percent/37 percent statewide); rates lower than
those indicated by students statewide (Fig. 18).

Since school began in the Fall, 7 percent of Burnet Consolidated students reported seeking help for any
problems connected with alcohol or drug use from someone other than family or friends (6 percent
statewide).

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