Report: 79% of RHS Students Addicted to Cocaine

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Important questions asked by the PAYS survey

Important questions asked by the PAYS survey

Ellie Davis and Sarah Tachau

Two years ago, Radish correspondent Andrew Rosin reported that the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) on drugs and alcohol revealed that 78% of students were addicted to heroin. Today, the survey has revealed that 79% of students are addicted to cocaine. “It seems like since the last survey we’ve done a good job of suppressing opioid use, but I guess that has allowed stimulants use to become more popular,” remarked one administrator.

Of course, inaccurate answers pose a problem, especially when a survey is asking students to admit to illegal activity. Luckily, the survey’s repeated reminders that “Your answers are completely anonymous, unless they are really really bad, then we will tell your parents,” reassured students. Survey responders also felt safe taking the survey after reading that “this is not a test, so there are no right or wrong answers, but just know that we are personally judging your responses.” As for the specificity of the data, each multiple-choice question had a wide range of answer choices, from “NO!” to “YES!” including “tbh I’ve considered it” and “I totally would if I didn’t have asthma.”
Because of the increase in drug use over the past two years, administrators fear that giving this survey might induce a positive feedback loop, wherein answering the questions about drug use encourages students to become addicts. “I’d never thought about doing cocaine until I took the PAYS survey and realized how lame I was,” reported one high school senior. “In the whole survey, I wasn’t able to answer yes to a single question. I knew those government statisticians would look at my results and call me a loser, so I had to try cocaine to prove them wrong.”

Other students expressed that the survey from two years ago inspired them with new ideas for drug sources that they had never even considered. “When the survey asked me if I had ever used the synthetic drug ‘Mr. Smiley,’ I answered ‘NO!,’ but thought ‘man, I wish,’” said another student.  Most concerningly, the PAYS survey saw a 350% increase in students addicted to sniffing glue. One senior glue addict shared her experiences: “I consider myself to be a creative thinker, but I had never considered sniffing glue until I read about it in a question on the 2019 PAYS survey. Before long, I had substituted my heroin addiction with Elmer’s glue.”

“I’ve also managed to completely overlook the supply of drugs from my parent’s prescriptions,” reported another student. “When the survey asked me how easily I could acquire these prescription drugs, I realized the opportunity which had been at my fingertips.” Students reported that giving a complete list of the drug labels to look for (including Vicodin, OxyCotin, Percocet, Codeine, Ambien, Lunesta, Valium, and Xanax) was also helpful. 

Other inaccurate responses were reported in terms of gang violence, as a lack of understanding what a gang was prompted all of the students in Model UN to say that they had been in a gang ever since sophomore year MUN tryouts. “We go through a grueling and slightly traumatizing tryout process,  travel together, sometimes chant VIVA LA RADMUN, and we hate Model UN clubs of other schools,” remarked a sophomore in the club. “If this isn’t a gang I don’t know what is.” 

To counteract the negative effects of administering the PAYS survey, RHS plans to administer the “Happy and well-behaving student survey,” to influence students with good behavior. “We need to show students that, unlike what the PAYS survey suggests, they do not need to be carrying an illegal weapon to be seen as cool,” states a Radnor faculty member. This survey will be given during an extended community period on an undetermined date, which will be announced no more than 12 hours ahead of time.