Drug Abuse & Bullying on Rise in Canada's Schools

Drug Abuse & Bullying on Rise in Canada's Schools
Posted by FoM on September 10, 1999 at 07:48:57 PT
By Tom Blackwell
Source: Ottawa Citizen
TORONTO -- An increasing number of school-age Canadians are doing drugs or bullying their classmates, suggests a comprehensive new Health Canada study that paints a sometimes-lurid picture of the country's youth. 
Many young people also feel unsafe in their schools, while still more are skipping classes, suggests the study, to be released next month. The snapshot of life for children from Grades 6 to 10 indicates that anti-tobacco campaigns have failed to curb teenage smoking rates. And while fewer students are drinking regularly, a larger percentage report having been "really drunk" at least twice, the survey of more than 11,000 children from British Columbia to Newfoundland found. One of the most significant findings is that marijuana use climbed significantly between 1994 and 1998, with almost half of Grade 10 students now saying they smoke up. "From what I hear, it's easily available, it's high-quality, it's home-grown often and it's quite cheap," said Mary Johnston of Health Canada. "For the most part, the consensus is now that marijuana is a health risk: physically, socially and psychologically." The report on the survey, called Trends in the Health of Canadian Youth, is to be released early in October. But the Citizen obtained some details of the research after an article about it appeared in the magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers. The study should be required reading for the nation's educators and parents, said Joe Atkinson, the college's deputy registrar. "For parents especially, you have to ask the question: Your kids are not home, where are they?" he said in an interview. "I don't think it will come as any surprise to teachers. The schools reflect society." Such surveys are conducted every four years by Health Canada, part of a World Health Organization project. The latest study, conducted last year, found that 44 per cent of Grade 10 boys and 41 per cent of girls had used marijuana three times or more. That's up from 30 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in 1994. Cocaine use is also up slightly in that age group, from three per cent for both boys and girls in 1994 to six and five per cent respectively in 1998. The percentage of students who said they drank beer, wine or liquor dropped over the four years. But the proportion of Grade 10 students who said they'd been "really drunk" at least twice jumped about five points to 43 per cent for both boys and girls in 1998. Bullying is also on the rise, with 43 per cent of boys and 35 per cent of girls in Grade 8 saying they've been victimized. That's up from 36 and 29 per cent in 1994. But the increase may simply mean that more students are reporting incidents of bullying because of publicity surrounding school violence, said Ms. Johnston. Pubdate: September 10, 1999Copyright 1999 Ottawa Citizen 
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Comment #2 posted by Jenne on July 19, 2000 at 22:03:40 PT:
Hi, i was wondering if Lorraine Hearn and Mary Moss found the information that they were looking for. I am a student at a summer program and i need the same type of information for a project due this friday. If anyone could email me at JEEJEE_C, i would greatly appreciate it. 
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Comment #1 posted by Lorraine Hearn on March 27, 2000 at 07:03:39 PT:
Bullying Statistics
Mt co-worker and I are in the process of compiling some statistics on the relationship between drug/alcohol use and Bullying- or victim of Bullying. If any such statistics exist, we would like to know where to access them. Thank you. Lorraine Hearn & Mary MossMembers of the Grand Falls-Windsor Committee Against Violence 
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