Forty-one percent of sophomores at Oak Park and River Forest High School reported using alcohol over a 30-day period while 61 percent of seniors reported drinking during the same period, according to the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey taken by high schoolers in the state earlier this spring.

The online survey is given every two years, with students able to take the survey in April. The survey is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Human Services. The assessment has been given biennially since 1990.This year, 641 OPRF sophomores and 561 seniors participated.

The percentage of those students who said they used alcohol in the past 30 days was virtually the same as the 2010 results. Fifty-nine percent of OPRF seniors that year reported using alcohol in the last month, while 41 percent of sophomores said they had.

The percentages this year, as was the case in 2010, continue to be higher than that of Cook County overall — 34 percent of 10th graders and 51 percent of seniors in Cook County reported drinking in the last 30 days.

As for the frequency of drinking in the last month, 26 percent of OPRF sophomores said they used alcohol at least one or twice, and 10 percent at least three to five times. For seniors, 27 percent drank once or twice and 17 percent between three and five times. A large percentage of OPRF students, however, reported using no alcohol at all.

As for using marijuana in a 30 day period, 37 percent of OPRF seniors said they used pot in that period. Thirty percent of sophomores reported smoking marijuana over a 30 day period.

More specifically, 11 percent of sophomores reported smoking pot once or twice in a 30 day period while 4 percent of sophomores said they smoked pot 20 or more times in the last month.

Again, a large percentage of students reported no use at all. But for seniors surveyed about pot use in the last year, a slight majority, 51 percent, reported some kind of use.

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