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November 24, 2015

Drug Testing

Getting to No

Gina Edwards | 10/1/2004
Five years ago, Florida had one of the worst youth drug abuse problems in the nation, says Florida's drug czar, James McDonough, the director of the Florida Office of Drug Control. Today, McDonough thinks Florida is leading the nation in decreasing teen drug use. "That's not an empty boast," he says.

How has Florida attacked the problem? The state started in the 1999-2000 school year by asking sixth- through 12th-graders if they've used drugs in the past month, and if so, what kinds and how often. Then, the state helped counties design their own local responses. McDonough's office helped set up a network of local coalitions to attack the problem based on local survey trends. In 1999, 19 counties had local coalitions. Today, 66 of 67 counties have coalitions in place, McDonough says.

30-Day Use Among Youths
(Sixth- through 12th-graders statewide, 2002-03)

Substance Current use

% Drop (from '01-'02)

Steroids 0.4% 60%
Heroin 0.4% 50%
LSD/PCP 0.8% 47%
Ecstasy 1.5% 46%
Methamphetamines 0.9% 44%
Cocaine 1.2% 40%
Cigarettes 11.5% 38%
Amphetamines 1.3% 32%
Crack cocaine 0.6% 25%
Marijuana 12.8% 11%
Alcohol 30.9% 10%

Source: Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey of middle and high school students

For More Information
For more data on teen drug use in Florida, go to, type in keyword: Florida Office of Drug Control and choose the "homepage" option.

Tags: Around Florida

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