Underage Drinking, Teen Drug Use Down in Oregon

December 22, 2009

There’s a positive trend happening in Oregon involving high schoolers and middle schoolers.  And  in very large part, it has to do with parents taking a larger role in preventing underage drinking and teen drug abuse.
And for that, parents should be congratulated!
According to the Oregon Health Teens Survey, alcohol use among 11th graders and 8th graders (the classes surveyed) continues to go down.  The same is true for illegal drugs, except for marijuana and the illegal use of prescription drugs.
The survey reports that the percentage of 11th graders who used alcohol in the month before they were asked the question, came in at 38 percent, compared to 44 percent in 2007.
The Oregon Department of Human Services tells us that for 8th graders, the downward trend started showing up in 2005.  And there’s more good news: Illegal drugs use and smoking by teens continue to drop almost every year.
Drug prevention experts here at Oregon Partnership say this isn’t by accident. The biggest factor has to do with parents taking a much more active role in talking to their kids early and often about the dangers and effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
There’s a reason why most public service announcements you see and hear about underage drinking and illegal drug use among teens are aimed at PARENTS.  Parents, after all, have the most influence on their children.
Unfortunately, more Oregon teens smoke marijuana than smoke cigarettes, and here in Oregon and nationally too, more teens are abusing prescription drugs. 

 Those are trends that anti-drug coalitions around the country will be targeting in the coming months, initiating “lock your meds” campaigns, among other strategies.

OP Getting Support to Stop Sale of Old Navy T-Shirts

December 14, 2009

Just visited Beaverton’s Old Navy store, and sure enough, t-shirts with drinking themes continue to  adorn the shelves.  The shirts include a Santa drinking from a keg and  the theme “Beer Pressure: Worth Giving Into.”

This is a chain that caters to teens.  And OP has been on Old Navy’s case and its parent company, Gap, for a year now. We’re asking these companies to be good community partners – as spelled out on its website – and discontinue the shirts.

Hardly a day goes by when OP doesn’t receive a phone call or an email from customers asking what they can do to join OP efforts.

We’re also getting inquiries from national media outlets.  Old Navy and Gap would get OP’s total support if it just discontinued the sale of the shirts.  Trying to battle the underage drinking culture takes community support..and Old Navy could be a leader, not an obvious detractor.

New Ore. Survey Shows Decline in Underage Drinking

December 3, 2009

Some encouraging results from the latest Oregon Healthy Teens Survey regarding underage drinking.

Among 8th graders surveyed, 23.2 percent said they had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, down from 25.8 percent in ’07. So, good news there.

In addition, 8th-grade girls are drinking less compared with ’07.

Among 11th-graders in ’09, 38.4 percent said they had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. That’s down from 43.9 percent in ’07.

Since 2005, there’s been a decrease in 8th graders who say they have used alcohol and drugs in the past 30 days.

Drug Prevention efforts appear to paying off.  Let’s keep it going because as has been proven, prevention works.