Youths Alcohol And Drug Problem in Upper Moreland

Results from the Pennsylvania Annual Youth Survey show: ”one in four Upper Moreland sixth-graders and 50 to 60% of 10th-graders had tried alcohol before and 65% of 12th-graders had done so in the past month.
10 to 15% of 10th-graders at Upper Moreland are regular smokers, 13% of eighth-graders are already addicted to cigarettes. About 25% of Upper Moreland 10th-graders said they had tried marijuana and the number was significantly less when asked if they had used marijuana in the past 30 days.

13% of 10th-graders have taken pain relievers without a prescription and 10% have done so with oral tranquilizers. Both numbers are above the state and local average.
Less than 1 percent of students reported experimenting with harder drugs including heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamines.  The survey also looked at bullying in school districts.
According to the data, “one in three sixth-graders report experience one or more incidents of bullying. One in 10 sixth-, eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders reported being sexually harassed over the internet.”

Do these numbers shock you? Yes, alcohol and drugs is huge problem all over the country. That’s why this kind survey has been administered since 1989 and is sponsored by the state’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
According to its website, the survey results, “provide school administrators, state agency directors, legislators and others with critical information concerning the changes in patterns of the use and abuse of the harmful substances and assesses risk factors that are related to these behaviors and the protective factors that help guard against them.”
The district and the community must get the anti-drug and alcohol message into the students at a young age, to share the information with parents and educate them on warning signs of intoxication.
The commissioners said they would be interested in learning what other communities were doing to address the problem and community initiatives that were working to alleviate the problem as well as organizations that could educate the students about the consequences of such behavior.

The survey’s goal is every other year to see how school and community initiatives are improving or worsening the problem.

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