The Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use is sponsored by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and implemented by the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Texas A&M University. The first survey, of secondary students in grades 7 through 12, was conducted in 1988. A second statewide assessment, conducted two years later, expanded data collection to include Texas elementary students in grades 4 through 6 as well. Texas elementary and secondary students have been subsequently surveyed every other year since 1990 in what has been termed as the statewide assessment years. The statewide assessment occurs during even-numbered years and the local assessment occurs during odd-numbered years. Beginning with the 2014 survey administration year, only grades 6 through 12 will be included in the study design.
The Texas School Survey project is conducted in two parts. First, a statewide survey is administered every two years in a sample of districts throughout the state. The statewide survey helps inform policymakers about the extent and nature of the substance use problem in Texas schools. It can also give districts conducting local surveys a standard of comparison for interpreting their own drug and alcohol survey findings. The survey not only quantifies youth drug and alcohol use, but it also provides guidance on the best means to address the problem. Questions assess where the students get most of their information on drug and alcohol use and where they say they would turn for help with a substance problem.
Administered over an extended period of time, the survey is an effective tool to evaluate the impact of special substance abuse prevention and education programs. The Texas School Survey is designed to be responsive to questions of specific interest to Texas’ educators, policymakers, parents, and community groups.
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