Saturday, July 26, 2014

Drug-Use Statistics Trouble Those Looking to Curb Addiction

Risks Higher for State’s High School Students

Maryland Independent
by Nicole Clark Staff writer
July 23, 2014

Parents in Southern Maryland have continued to meet since two youth drug summits were held earlier this year, said DeForest Rathbone, a parent and grandfather who has been active in looking for solutions to curb addiction among students.

“All of them are telling the same story,” he said. It’s one of frustration when their children start taking drugs and the difficulty of trying to get youth sober and clean.

“Private programs are costly, and public programs are overwhelmed,” Rathbone said recently. “It’s a big dilemma, and I think that’s going to continue on indefinitely because of the number of kids in the pipeline who’ve already been exposed to drugs.”

Activists like Rathbone, along with community health and school leaders, are looking at data, recently released from the Centers for Disease Control, that offer some clues about what risks Maryland youth are experiencing — everything from getting enough physical activity and eating breakfast in the morning, to being raped or having drugs offered to them in school.

Only 16.9 percent of Maryland high-schoolers questioned said they were currently using tobacco, compared to 22.4 percent nationwide, according to the 2013 CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey. But Marylanders in that age group reported using a list of other drugs at higher percentages than their peers across the country.

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