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Executive Summary

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Illicit Drug Use by Maryland Youth

Chapter IV
Trends in Substance Use in Maryland

Chapter V
Reported Consequences of Substance Use

Chapter VI
Availability of Substances

Chapter VII
Protective Factors

Chapter VIII
Impaired Driving

Chapter IX

Chapter X
Implications for Program Planning and Policy

Appendix A
Schools Excluded from Sampling Frame

Appendix B
Survey Questionnaire

Appendix C
Survey Instructions

Appendix D
Local School System Findings

List of Figures

List of Tables


Maryland State Department of Education
Division of Compensatory Education
and Support Services
Division of Planning, Results, and Information Management

Released March 2000

The 1998 Maryland Adolescent Survey is sponsored by Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, & Maryland Department of Transportation, and is funded by Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1986, as amended by the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, and the Maryland Department of Transportation. To view the national survey upon which the Maryland Adolescent Survey is modeled, visit


     We are quite pleased to report that drug use among Maryland’s adolescents has not increased over the past two years. In fact, use has decreased in many categories and has remained stable in a majority of the other categories. We are proud to see that the efforts of parents and families, government, community agencies, and schools have resulted in such positive outcomes.

     This year, for the first time, the survey asked questions about whether or not students felt safe in and around their schools. The results show that our students feel safe in their schools. However, we cannot rest on our laurels until we are completely confident that all schools have safe and disciplined environments where teachers can teach and students can learn without fear of harm or disruption.

     Finally, the data continues to show the importance of the role parents and families play in the lives of their children. The results of numerous surveys continue to reinforce the belief that parents and families have a great influence on the decisions made by their children. It is therefore essential that parents, families and communities work together to reinforce the "no use" message, to provide positive alternatives to substance use, to model appropriate behaviors, and to ensure that there is a significant and caring adult in the life of each child.

     The Maryland State Department of Education will continue to do everything possible to teach our adolescents about the harmful effects of substance use and to equip them with the skills necessary to resist pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. We also know that our efforts alone will not produce the desired results. To solve this problem, we need the full support and cooperation of parents and families, government, and all community agencies that touch the lives of our children. While our children may only be 20 percent of our population they are 100 percent of our future. That is why it is so important that we continue to strengthen our efforts to prevent and reduce substance use among our most important resource--our children.

     We, therefore, encourage every reader of this document to help us in our efforts to create and maintain safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools and communities. We need your help and our children deserve it.

     Nancy S. Grasmick
     State Superintendent of Schools