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Our Teens’ World in the Year 2011. Cristi Cousins, MADD o f Virginia Nancy Hans, Prevention Council of Roanoke County.

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our teens world in the year 2011

Our Teens’ World in the Year 2011

Cristi Cousins, MADD o f Virginia

Nancy Hans, Prevention Council of Roanoke County


ROANOKE COUNTY PREVENTION COUNCILFostering the healthy development of youth and over time the community.Empowering Families.Encouraging Youth.www.preventioncouncil4youth.org

connecting to promote healthy communities
Connecting to Promote Healthy Communities
  • Partnering with the Medical Community
  • Four Strategic Teams: Underage Alcohol Use/Marijuana Use/Prescription Drug Use
  • Spreading the Seeds of the DFC program to far southwest Virginia
  • Regional Training, Evaluation and Networking
we are part of 22 drug free community coalitions in the commonwealth and over 750 in the nation
We are part of 22 Drug Free Community Coalitions in the Commonwealth and over 750 in the nation.
community coalitions of virginia
Community Coalitions of Virginia

The Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCOVA)  works collaboratively to prevent and reduce substance abuse and related risk factors in Virginia communities in ways that are measurable and that improve quality of life.

what does your community look like
What does your community look like?
  • Do you know of a community coalition in your community? If so, are you active in it?
  • Name 3 issues surrounding policies and/or practices unique to your school or community
  • What are 3 protective factors that you see students have and 3 risk factors
health education standards in virginia
Health Education Standards in Virginia
  • Act with skill and reason to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and behaviors that reduce health risks and enhance the health of self and others.
  • Demonstrate the ability to access, evaluate, and use health information, products, and services that influence health and wellness in a positive manner.
  • Demonstrate the use of appropriate health practices and behaviors to promote a safe and healthy community when alone, with family, at school and in other group settings.
standards of learning for health education
Standards of Learning for Health Education
  • K – choices, effect of drugs, electronic media; seek guidance from trusted adults
  • 1-5 – health promoting decisions, effects of drugs, media, healthy habits, consequences of substance use, healthy choices, seeking assistance from trusted adults, managing stress, addiction, academic performance, value of community healthy and wellness
  • 6-10 – self-image, risk-taking behaviors, positive role model within family and community, implementing safe and healthy practices and behaviors, practices with healthy environments, personal standards of using substances, community health programs for all ages, consequences of drinking and driving, media
whose problem is it anyway
roanoke county schools local school based yrbs
Roanoke County SchoolsLocal School-Based YRBS

6th – 12th grade students (8000+)

Anonymous, self-administered, computer-scan answer sheet

Trend data: Conducted biennially during the spring, since 2002

2 years of parent Online survey data

Analysis by Roanoke County Prevention Council Data Committee, Virginia Tech, Radford researchers


Brain Development

Maturation Occurs from Back to Front of the Brain

Images of Brain Development in Healthy Youth (Ages 5 – 25)

Blue represents maturing of brain areas

Source: Gogtay, Giedd, et al., 2004.

the digital divide internet safety and bullying
The Digital Divide: Internet Safety and Bullying
  • 89.4% web presence for high school – an increase of 9% since 2008.
  • 68.7% for middle school – an increase of 21% since 2008.
  • 32.3% of high schoolers and 23.7% of middle schoolers report they have received threatening or intimidating messages online or through cell phones.
  • 24.1% of high schoolers and 16.5% of middle schoolers report they have sent threatening or intimidating messages.
  • 35.5% of high schoolers and 15.4% of middle schoolers report sexually inappropriate pictures or messages using a cell phone or computer.
  • 33.4% of high schoolers report they have texted while driving in the past 30 days.
roanoke county middle high school youth report
Roanoke County Middle/High School Youth report:
  • 17.0%/39.1% have tried cigarettes
  • 9.7%/35.8% have tried marijuana
  • 23.7%/62.0% have tried alcohol
  • 20.8%/20.3% had their first drink before age 13
  • 46.0%/77.0% say alcohol is very easy or fairly easy to get
  • 23.1% of high schoolers report having 5 or more drinks in a row in the past 30 days (binge drinking)
brain activity
Brain Activity

Image from Susan Tapert, PhD, University of California, San Diego



  • Sam’s number was .436
other risky behaviors
Other Risky Behaviors
  • 12.5% of middle schoolers and 16.1% of high schoolers have used inhalants to get high (93% of those that continue beyond initial experimentation go on to use illicit drugs)
  • 3.6% of middle schoolers and 16.1% of high schoolers have taken over the counter to get high
  • 3.1% of middle schoolers and 18.9% of high schoolers have taken prescription drugs to get high
  • For high schoolers OTC and prescription drugs are the new high increasing over 3% in just 2 years.
adolescent substance abuse america s 1 public health problem
Adolescent Substance Abuse: America’s #1 Public Health Problem
  • 9 in 10 People Who Are Addicted* Begin to Smoke, Drink and/or Use Other Drugs Before Age 18
    • 91.4% of those addicted to nicotine
    • 91.6% of those addicted to alcohol
    • 96.1% of those addicted to illicit or controlled prescription drugs
  • *Have a substance use disorder, defined as meeting clinical criteria for nicotine dependence or alcohol or other drug abuse or dependence
Academic: lower grades & academic attainment, higher unemployment
  • Health: traffic accidents, risky sex, chronic health problems, brain damage, addiction, fatal health conditions, unintentional injuries, homicides, suicides
  • Crime: juvenile & adult property, violent & substance-related offenses
teen substance use results in staggering costs to society
Teen Substance Use Results in Staggering Costs to Society
  • Costs of Teen Use:
    • $68 billion/year for underage drinking ($2,280/year for every adolescent in the U.S.)
    • $14.4 billion/year for juvenile justice
  • Teen Use Drives Lifetime Costs:
    • $467.7 billion/year in government spending on substance use/addiction ($1,500/year for every person in the U.S.)
    • 96 cents of every $1 goes to cope with the consequences; only 2 cents for prevention & treatment
Families Present Mixed Messages to Teens About Risks of Substance Use
  • Schools Miss the Mark
  • Advertising & Media Messages Glamorize Substance Use
gasolina in a pouch

* Brightly colored, 200-ml aluminum pouches complete with little straws inside to suck up the vodka, tequila, and rum, plus some fruit juice. 

  • These pouches look remarkably similar to Capri Sun. Yes, the same packaging you see at youth soccer games across the country has now been repurposed for easy-access, take-anywhere alcohol. 
  • We can’t help but wonder how the manufacturer, Pan American Properties, can say their product is not intended for consumption by minors without bursting into fits of laughter. Who else drinks sweet, brightly colored liquid from small aluminum pouches? Maybe the giggle fits continue when imagining parents grabbing the wrong pouch from the fridge when packing their kids' lunches. Not so funny when the kids actually drink the whole pouch of up to 11% alcohol by volume.
  • Gasolina is also directly targeting the urban Latino demographic with product names such as “Tu Madras” and “Mojito" along with its own brand name. The marketing on its Facebook and Twitter accounts is in both English and Spanish. And young people are already paying attention – the Gasolina Facebook page has 77,888 "likes" and features beach parties, bikini-clad young girls, and “belly button of the week” contests, along with events like last week's "all-you-can-drink Gasolina pouches" event called "Frequency Thursdays" at Zen Exotic Lounge in Orlando, advertised on Gasolina's Open Bar page on Facebook.
sneaky kind of health issues
  • Ratings Creep – PG13 is the new R – know your children
  • Energy Drinks – fastest growing US beverage market 2011 sales to top $9 billion
  • YouTube vides on cutting are widely viewed
  • 5-2-1-0 Rule: 5 or more servings of fruits/veggies/day; 2 hours or less of screen time; 1 hour of physical activity –OUTSIDE preferably without electronic devices; zero sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Adults – LEAD BY EXAMPLE
so what can we do to protect our youth
So what can we do to protect our youth?

IT’S PERMISSION: Talk, Talk, Talk

  • Know their friends and their friends’ parents
  • Network with other parents
  • Stay involved with their school all the way through high school and beyond!
  • Know the resources in the community – Guiding Good Choices parent program
  • www.pc4y.org
  • It’s not going to be a one-time conversation - The key is to keep talking. Keep asking
  • questions and keep monitoring your child as they grow up and they encounter different situations.
  • Stay positive and focus on the facts, not judgments.
  • Parents are the most powerful influence on teens when it comes to drug use -
  • It’s up to you to use that influence early and often. It’s a conversation that needs to happen so that your tween knows where you stand.
protective factors
Protective Factors

Healthy beliefs and clear standards for behavior should be:

    • Clearly communicated
    • Consistent with family values.
  • Strengthen bonds with:
    • Opportunities to contribute
    • Skills to be successful
    • Recognition for contributions.
  • Acknowledge individual characteristics.
  • 84.9%/85.7% William Byrd middle and high schoolers report having one or more adults (not parents) in their lives who encourage them and listen to them.

Characteristics of aGood Family Decision

All ideas are considered.

• The decision is clear.

• Everyone is committed to it.

• Teens are involved.

• Family bonds are strengthened.

• The decision reflects family beliefs and standards.

driving the outcomes through prevention what works education collaboration opportunities
Driving the Outcomes through Prevention: What Works – Education, Collaboration, Opportunities

Action on Underage Drinking – collaboration with pediatricians

SAP in all middle and high schools

Digital Divide – Raise awareness of use of technology and youth risk behavior

Parent Education - Roanoke County support of Guiding Good Choices, Staying Connected with Your Teen and Internet Safety Seminars

Promote Youth Raise Awareness of Health Risk - Surgeon General’s Call to Leadership – YADAPP, school prevention clubs, community support

Unique partnerships to implement environmental strategies: Health Officials, ABC, StopIn Stores, WDBJ7, Hispanic community