For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Atlantic County Makes Strides in Combating Substance Abuse Among Teens
The annual use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana among Atlantic County teens has dropped significantly during the past 15 years according to the results of the 2010-11 PRIDE survey, a national federal-mandated measure of illicit drug use by youth.
Twenty-one of Atlantic County's 23 school districts with 8th grade students participated in the survey. Of the 1,803 completed surveys, 758 were submitted by males, 850 by females, and 195 without gender identification. Nearly 52% of 8th grade students who received a survey completed it, far exceeding the national return rate average of 20%.
The Atlantic County Alliance for the Prevention of Drugs and Alcohol worked with the school districts to coordinate the distribution of surveys. Students had 60 days to complete the surveys and return to their respective schools. Parental consent was required and participation was voluntary. Participants remained anonymous and every effort was made to protect their confidentiality. The survey was previously conducted in 2006 and 1995.
The 2010-11 survey also found that the perceived risk of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana among students has significantly increased since 1995, and the perceived risk of cocaine, uppers, downers, inhalants and hallucinogens remains very high. Additionally the availability of these substances has decreased.
"The results of this survey bring us cautious optimism that our messages are reaching young teens and having an impact,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “The results also help us evaluate our objectives and identify new goals. Education and awareness are key to substance abuse prevention. And the earlier we start, the more successful we are."
The Atlantic County 2010-11 PRIDE survey results are available at: www.aclink.org/PublicHealth/substance_abuse
Click here for survey results.