A survey of students conducted in Plymouth public schools reveals that they’re using drugs, tobacco and alcohol at higher rates—and start using at earlier ages than the national average.
The Superintendent of Schools, Gary Maestes, presented this information to the Board of Selectmen this week, telling the board that the school district started in ’06 doing the Communities that Care Survey. This is a survey offered to students nationwide by many school districts:
“When we got the results back we were a little but surprised that our students in Plymouth were using alcohol and drugs at a little bit higher level than the national average,” said Gary Maestes.
And Plymouth students are not only using in greater numbers than the national average, but they also begin using drugs and alcohol at an earlier age than the national average—which is about 16. Right now, Plymouth students begin using at age 14. This is an improvement over ’06 when survey results showed substance use began at age 12.
Maestes told the board that it would be wonderful if the schools could simply focus on educating students for their future careers:
“But, a lot of our students come to school with some issues—they might be drug involved, they might be alcohol involved, so we have a lot of challenges.”
And to meet those challenges, the Superintendent has reinstated the Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative. He’s recruited state and local leaders in an effort to reach out to students and parents.