Published : Thursday, 19 Aug 2010, 12:01 AM EDT
BY LUKE FUNK
MYFOXNY.COM - A new survey claims that 27 percent of public school students aged 12 to 17 attend schools that are both gang and drug-infected. That means 5.7 million students attend schools which are both gang and drug dominated. Nearly 50 percent of all public school students report drug use or sales on school grounds. The Columbia University survey claims that one in three middle schoolers say that drugs are used, kept or sold at their school. That number is up 39 percent in the past year. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) survey compared to teens attending gang and drug-free schools, teens who attend schools infected with both gangs and drugs. It found that teens who attend schools with drug and gang problems are five times likelier to use marijuana and three times likelier to drink. "The combination of gangs and drugs in a school is a malignant cancer that must be eliminated if we are to be able to improve public education in our nation," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Founder and Chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. The survey found that 66 percent of high school students said their schools were drug infected, continuing a stead increase in drug-infected high schools since 2006 when 51 percent of high school students said that they attended drug-infected schools. The complete survey findings were to be released at a conference in Washington, D.C. The survey also found that the drug-free-school gap between public schools and private and religious schools is up sharply in the past decade. This is the 15th annual teen survey of attitudes on substance abuse among teenagers.