High School Survey Shows Health Improvements

FAIRBANKS- Alaska health officials say fewer high school students are using drugs than six years ago. The spring survey found that smoking cigarettes dropped by 40 percent among students,  down to 10.6%. Marijuana and alcohol use have fallen significantly, and binge drinking figures have dramatically improved, dropping by 50%. The study shows Alaska native teens have a higher rate of smoking cigarettes, about two times as high as non-natives. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is conducted in U.S. schools every two years. Superintendent Pete Lewis says he’s waiting for local statistics, but he’s optimistic because the curriculum encourages healthy behavior. “Anytime kids are making right choices, that’s a positive and a move in the right direction,” Lewis says.