CN BC: Substance Use Strategy In The Works

“I think our problems are no different than what other small communities are facing,” said Lory Borges, a school-based prevention worker with the Interior Health Authority. “I think our biggest concerns are alcohol and marijuana use.”

The survey found the initial age for alcohol and marijuana use was between 13 and 14.

Forty-eight students smoke cigarettes daily, 51 use marijuana daily or every weekend, and 150 drink regularly ( defined as once or twice a month or more ).

Use of caffeinated energy drinks like Red Bull caused concern, with 125 students drinking them regularly. Forty-seven per cent said they didn’t think they caused harm.

“There are some kids that probably use it in place of caffeine and there are some kids who are using large quantities of it to get high so I think that’s where the concern comes in,” said Borges.

For other drugs surveyed, the majority of students responded that substance use did cause physical harm, said Zacharias.

In terms of hard drug use, magic mushrooms were the most prevalent, with almost 19 per cent having tried them at least once, followed by ecstasy. Prescription drug misuse also rated highly, said Zacharias.

Almost 45 per cent of respondents said they had a blackout experience after using a substance, “Which is pretty high,” said Zacharias.

Interesting that their biggest concerns are alcohol and cannabis despite the fact that as many kids smoke tobacco as marijuana and tobacco is markedly more addictive and dangerous. Not to mention high levels of prescription drug abuse. And insane amounts of “energy drink” ie caffeine use. Funny how the indication is that these energy drinks are used “in place of caffeine” (aren’t they predominately caffeine?) but that it only becomes a problem when large quantities are used to “get high.” Ummm…isn’t the use of caffeine designed to “get high” (though obviously in a speedy/energy way not a psychoactive way)? I’d be more worried that the use of large quantities can kill you not that you might get high from it. But, hey, priorities.