1) Make a list of all the changes that took place between 2001 and 2005.

1.8 percent of the students who were surveyed in 2005 reported that they had tried heroin at least once, which is thrice the results of the 2001 survey. This could be attributed to the fact that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was overthrown in 2001, making heroin more readily available and cheaper. Aside from heroin, substance use among the youth has significantly dropped in 2005. Survey results in 2001 report that 18 percent of the teenagers had engaged in binge drinking in the previous month. This figure went down to 14 percent in 2005. Alcohol consumption has also dropped from 41 percent to 35 percent. Marijuana use also fell from 18 percent in 2001 to 12 percent in 2005.

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2) Which of these trends can be considered positive, or in the proper direction?

Alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and marijuana use have significantly dropped down from 2001 to 2005. Although this could be considered as a positive trend, this should not be ignored as substance use increases the chance of doing risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex.

3) Which of these trends can be considered negative, or in the wrong direction?

Heroin use among NYC students has tripled since 2001. The use of cocaine and methamphetamine remained the same since 2001. In 2005, more than 25% of the youth nationwide (and in New York City as well) admitted that they tried drinking alcohol before the age of 13. The 2005 survey results also show that one in three youth in NYC has tried using drugs at least once. In addition, one in 4 students admitted that they were sold, offered, or given an illegal drug in school. It was also reported that in 2005, drug use and alcohol consumption resulted to 544 hospitalizations and 16 deaths among New York youths ages 13–20. These are the negative trends that need to be addressed.

4) What was the definition of “binge drinking” that was used in the survey?

Binge drinking was defined as the consumption of five or more drinks in the space of a few hours.
5) What differences in drug use between white students and minority students were discovered when the survey’s findings were analyzed?

It was discovered that use of drugs is more prevalent among white students and are more likely to have tried illicit substances than black students and Hispanic students.
6) How was the sample of student respondents chosen?

8,000 students in New York City participated in the survey conducted in 2003 and 2005. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene joined together in conducting this survey. The survey covered only the city’s public schools, which make up for 80 percent of the city’s high school population. A sample of high schools was chosen to represent all high schools. Within those high schools, a representative sample of classrooms was selected. All students in the chosen classroom participate in the survey (a questionnaire on paper) anonymously.

7) Why might the sample fall short of mirroring all students in NYC?

The survey might fall short of mirroring all students in New York City because private schools were not included in the survey. Since drug use and alcohol consumption were observed to be more prevalent in affluent students, the overall rate may be understated.

8) What does the article say about students at private schools?

White and affluent students usually study in private schools. The article states that drugs use and alcohol drinking are prevalent among white and well-off students. This suggests that substance use is rampant among students studying in private schools.