Friday, December 2, 2011

Marijuana and alcohol use among teens is rapidly rising in Adams County

The Adams County Youth Council urges teens and parents to come together to address the growing rates of substance use among teens in Adams County

Over a quarter (30 %) of 9-12 graders in Adams County reported having used marijuana in the last 30 days in the fall of 2010. This is a 58% increase in three years. Of these same students, 65% think it is easy to get marijuana if they wanted it and 42% think there is very little risk to people who smoke marijuana regularly. Also, over a third (41%) of 9-12 graders reported to have had at least one drink of alcohol in the last 30 days, which is a 25% increase from 2008. (data from Adams County Student Survey of over 27,000 students in grades 6 through 12 in Mapleton, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams 14, Brighton 27J and District 50 in 2008, 2009, 2010).

When the Adams County Youth Council members (composed of representatives from five Adams County school districts that support the efforts of the Adams County Youth Initiative -“ACYI”) were informed of the alarming increase of reported use of marijuana and alcohol use they wanted to take action! They want parents to get involved. They want to give teens and parents resources and strategies to be drug free. Most of all “We want teens and parents to come together to develop solutions to decrease substance use in Adams County because we want all kids to live in a safe and healthy community!” said Luna Ly, member of the Adams County Youth Council from Westminster High School.

Adams County Youth Council is inviting teens and parents to come together for a public event on Monday, December 5th to learn about the harm of drug and alcohol use on teen lives, learn about local resources to prevent and treat use, and to be a part of the conversation to develop solutions for positive change. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the event will be held at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Conference Center (1500 E. 128th Ave. Thornton. The event is free, dinner will be provided, and Spanish translators will be available. No RSVPs required. This event is co-hosted by the Adams County Youth Initiative and the North Metro Drug Task Force.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Lisa Boesky, psychologist, national speaker, author and expert on child, teen and adult behavior. Dr. Boesky will provide straightforward, expert advice on how to recognize when someone needs help and what to do to next. She wrote the book, “When to Worry: How to Tell If Your Teen Needs Help & and What to Do About It.”

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