What Are the Challenges We Face?
A key component of our work has been measuring the extent and severity of the drug and alcohol problems here in the County. We fund surveys to identify our current baseline with regards to alcohol and drug consumption and purchasing patterns.
In a recent Youth Behavior Risk Survey of high school students, we found:
- Most Sullivan County teenagers don’t use drugs or alcohol.
- Binge drinking among our high school students has dropped dramatically, from around 40% of teens reporting they had had five or more drinks on one occasion in 2001—the highest rate in the state—to only 23.5% in 2011, below the state average.
- Over 60% of Sullivan County high school students have never smoked pot.
- Sullivan County youth are less likely than other New Hampshire teens to drive after they’ve been drinking or to ride with a driver who’s been drinking.
- Despite prescription drug abuse growing in our adult community, our rates of prescription drug abuse among youth are holding steady with or lower than state averages.
- Almost 2 out of 10 Sullivan County teens surveyed reported they’d taken their first drink of alcohol before they turned 13.
- More than 1 in 10 teens have taken an over-the-counter drug to get high; almost 1 in 5 have taken a prescription drug not prescribed to them.
- Sullivan County rates of tobacco use are higher than state averages.
- Only 45% of Sullivan County teens said their parents /guardians had talked with them about the dangers of tobacco in the past year.
The full survey will be added to this website soon.
In 2009 we funded two surveys, one focused on our Young Adults (18-24 years) and the other was for our High School students.
Wondering about national trends? DrugAbuse.gov has detailed reports on many aspects of our current challenges.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has statistical data for the entire state’s consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. Read their most recent report at their website.