One out of 16 children have tried marijuana by the time they get to high school and one in six children have had their first alcoholic drink, according to the preliminary findings of the legislature’s Program Review and Investigations staff.

For many of these children, this early use leads to drug and alcohol abuse.

The most recent federal survey found that 8 percent of Connecticut children ages 12 through 17, and 24 percent of those 18 through 25, have abused or are dependent on alcohol or drugs.

This prevalence of abuse has led legislative staff to begin researching if the state is equipped to treat these children. Their results are expected later this year.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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