The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)conducted its 2016 biennial Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use (TSS) where 49,069 students from grades 7-12 from across the State were surveyed as subjects in the study. During the survey students were asked to report on their use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, illicit drugs, and over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Students were randomly selected from Texas school districts to participate in the study. .
A comparison of the border region against the rest of the state was conducted and which show that alcohol remains the drug of choice among Texas youth and the most widely used substance among surveyed students. Along the border region of the students surveyed 51.1% admitted to consuming alcohol at some point in their lives as compared to the state average at 53%.
Drug use among students surveyed along the border region was at 22.8% while the state average was reported at 22.6%. Marijuana use by students in the border region was reported at 21.4 % as compared to state average of 21%. Cocaine use among surveyed border region students was reported at 4.2% higher than an all out state figure of 2.8%. Approximately 7.8 % of high school seniors surveyed in the border admitted to cocaine use as compared to the state figure of 5.7 %. 1.2 % of border students surveyed admitted to using Crack cocaine as compared to state student average of 1 %. 3.4 % students surveyed along the border region did admit to using Ecstasy a rate higher that the state average of 2.5%. Heroin use was reported under 1 percent at both the border and state level with 0.8% reported in the border region and 0.7% in the state. Methamphetamine use was reported at 1.2% in both sections of the survey .
Students were also asked about the misuse of Prescription drugs in which border region statistics show that 14.9% of those surveyed admitted to using prescription drugs in the wrong way. State average under the same category was at 18.5%. 13.2% of Border region students surveyed did admit to using inhalants a higher average than the state level at 11.9%. Information also shows that 17.6% of all students surveyed along the border region admitted to cigarette smoking at some point in their lives as compared to the state survey numbers of 16.4%.