Rise in percentage of students who have used illegal drugs

Graph exercise: rise in percentage of students who have used illegal drugs

No matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the Lindsay Earls case (page 14), the controversy over testing students for use of illicit drugs will most likely continue. And with good reason, say defenders of drug-testing programs. An annual survey of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders finds an increase in the percentage of students who admit having ever used illicit drugs. Use the data in the graph to answer the questions below. Source: Monitoring the Future Study, University of Michigan.


1. What is the approximate difference between the percentage of 8th-graders who ever used illicit drugs in 1991 and 1995?

2. What is the approximate difference between drug use by 8th-graders and 10th-graders in 2000?

3. Suppose a Supreme Court ruling against Lindsay Earls produces a spurt in student drug testing and a 10 percent across-the-board drop in student drug use. What would the 2002 survey reveal about use by 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders if all experienced a 10 percent drop in use?

4. The drug-use study found that if marijuana smoking is removed from the report, the percentage of students who have ever used illicit drugs falls. In the case of 12th-graders, the 1997 figure would drop by about 24 points. What percentage of these students used any illicit drug other than marijuana?

5. What does the information in this graph allow one to infer about age and the use of illicit drugs?

Graph Exercise, TE 5 Note: Allow students a couple of points leeway in percentage answers. 1. About 10 percent. 2. About 20 percent. 3. 8th grade about 16 percent; 10th grade about 35 percent; 12th grade about 43 percent. 4. About 30 percent. 5. Older students are more likely to use illicit drugs.

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