November 20, 2014

Ground Rules:

  • Listen with an open mind
  • Respect other’s opinions
  • Assume no malicious intent
  • Speak from your own experience
  • Don’t interrupt others
  • Be open to learning something new

Small groups looked at data provided related to different substances and developed problem statements and brainstormed contributing factors to these problems.

MARIJUANA

Problem Statement:

Youth do not think it is harmful to smoke marijuana.

YRBS data:      

25% of students think that people their age risk harming themselves if they smoke marijuana regularly

Contributing Factors:

  • Mixed messages from parents
  • Lack of positive health information
  • Lack of information on the health and safety consequences (brain development, driving, etc.)
  • Think their friends use
  • Glorification of use by athletes and others

MARIJUANA

Problem Statement:

It is easy for youth to get marijuana.

YRBS data: 70% of students think it would be easy to get marijuana

Contributing Factors:

  • Easy to grow in this environment
  • Adults use and grow
  • It is a source of income for people
  • Lack of community involvement and connection

MARIJUANA

Problem Statement:

It is socially acceptable to use marijuana.

Community Survey Data:

48% of adults said that marijuana is a part of social activities.

 Contributing Factors:

  • People accept or tolerate the use of marijuana
  • Stress and mental health issues
  • Parents use with youth
  • Parents/adults don’t understand the risk for teens using (pot is different now)
  • Norms are unclear – parents use and many think “at least my kid is not doing heroin”

MARIJUANA

Problem Statement:

Youth don’t think they will be cite for using marijuana

Contributing factors:

  • Confusion related to legalization – decriminalization, medical marijuana, recreation use
  • Unclear laws
  • Minimal law enforcement

ALCOHOL

Problem Statement:

Alcohol is easy to get.

YRBS data:

77% of students think it would be easy to get alcohol.

Contributing Factors:

  • Inexpensive
  • Available in homes (parent survey – 30% allow child to drink at home at least a little, 13% know of other parents who host parties where alcohol is available)
  • They get adults to purchase it for them
  • Available at all the small local stores
  • Can buy singles
  • Alcoholic beverages now more appealing to youth – lemon aid, ice tea, cider, etc.
  • In powder form
  • Part of the norm for social events (75% of community members say that alcohol is a central part of social activities sometimes or most of the time)

 ALCOHOL

Problem Statement:

Many people are struggling with feelings of hopelessness and despair

YRBS data:

27% of students said that they felt sad or hopeless for two weeks in a row in the last 12 months

Community Survey:

76% of adults said that they think there is a mental health issue in their community

Contributing Factors:

  • Alcohol provides a temporary happiness or escape
  • Alcohol makes you feel comfortable and disinhibited
  • Alcohol numbs and medicates
  • Isolation – geographically and many self-employed people with limited interactions
  • Lack of jobs and poverty keeps people at home and home is a lousy place to be
  • Lack of activities in the community – not enough to do
  • Lack of religious feeling or connection – little hope for the future environmentally, economically, and politically
  • Lack of good role models
  • Lack of transportation
  • Media and advertising gives the message that drinking will be fun, make you happy, and you will have great friends

TOBACCO

Problem Statement:

Too many youth still smoke and don’t think it risks their health

YRBS data:

16% of students smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days (statistically higher than the state at 13%)

60% of students think they risk harming themselves if they smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.

Contributing Factors:

  • Lack of clear rules and consequences regarding use
  • Lack of education around health issues associated with smoking
  • Smokers hang out with smokers and distort the perception of how many people are smoking
  • It is perceived as “cool” for some
  • Family members smoke
  • Smoking is addictive
  • Smoking helps cope with stress and mental health issues
  • Anti-tobacco ads (Truth ads)
  • Friend disapproval keeps many from starting to smoke

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