LTHS Illinois Youth Survey Analysis

  • Substance Use in the Past Year

    • Alcohol is the most frequent substance used by LT youth.
      • 41% of 9th graders, 58% of 10th graders, 70% of 11th graders and 79% of 12th graders
    • Vaping is the second most frequent substance used.
      • 29% of 9th graders, 46% of 10th graders, 52% of 11th graders and 58% of 12th graders
    • Marijuana is the third most frequent substance used.
    • 16% of 9th graders, 31% of 10th graders, 52% of 11th graders and 58% of 12th graders
    • Cigarettes, inhalants, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs are all much lower in frequency.


    • 51% of juniors and 61% of seniors used alcohol in the 30 days leading up to the survey.
    • 26% of 11th graders and 36% of 12th graders indicated they had a binge drinking episode in the two weeks prior to taking the survey. (Binge drinking is defined as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks in a row.)
    • Greatest source of alcohol is social/at a party (90%) while 29% indicate purchasing at a store and 42% indicate taking alcohol from a home/parent supply. 35% indicated they stole/took alcohol without permission.


    • In the past 30 days, 22% of freshmen, 38% of sophomores, 44% of juniors and 43% of seniors have used e-cigarettes.
    • Vaping has more than doubled across the suburban Chicago area since 2016.
    • LT vaping infraction data mirrors the Youth Survey data.
    • Despite the increase in vaping, cigarette use is down across the suburban Chicago area.
    • In the 30 days leading up to the survey, over 70% of students grades 9-12 who used marijuana said they vaporized it, which is equal to or higher than smoking marijuana as a method of delivery.


    • Greatest source of marijuana is social (87%) with 61% having bought marijuana from someone while 8% stole or took it from someone. (No question was asked about taking from a parent supply.)
    • Driving under the influence of marijuana is more prevalent than driving drunk.
      • 3% of LT 10th graders and 9% of LT 12th graders claimed to have driven drunk.
      • 6% of LT 10th graders and 31% of LT 12th graders claimed to have driven high.

    Mental Health

    • Frequency of students feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities are similar to suburban Cook, DuPage and Lake counties.
      • 23% of 9th graders, 29% of 10th graders, 35% of 11th graders, and 34% of 12th graders
    • Frequency of student who claim to have seriously considered attempting suicide also is similar to suburban Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties.
      • 14% of 9th graders, 17% of 10th graders, 17% of 11th graders, and 17% of 12th graders.

    Additional Working Group Observations:

    • Nearly half of LT seniors have experienced 2 or more consequences due to substance abuse that indicate they might benefit from a substance abuse assessment. (Consequences include use alone, forget things while using, been told by family and friends to cut down usage, gotten into trouble at school or with the law, or driven/ridden in a car driven by someone who was high.)
    • Use of all substances increases year by year (but wine is consistent over all 4 years).
    • Less than 1% of students indicate having used heroin or painkillers (OxyContin) to get high.
    • Prescription drug use is more prevalent with Adderall and Ritalin (11% of seniors, 5% of sophomores).
    • Few schools similar to LT in low-income demographics participated in the Youth Survey.
    • Is drinking or doing drugs alone an indication of depression or “virtual partying” via social media?
    • Use is indicated as starting prior to 9th grade—how do we coordinate efforts with associate schools?