WILLIAMSON – At a Strong Through our Plan (STOP) Coalition meeting Wednesday, Nov. 18, the results of a PRIDE student survey concerning alcohol and prescription drug abuse among Mingo County students were made available.
The report was based on a survey given to high school students during the 2014-2015 school term.
The Key Findings Report states, “The Pride Surveys Questionnaire measures a variety of student beliefs, attitudes and behaviors about issues relating to substance abuse. This brief report focuses on results relating to substance abuse. The results are based on the responses from 731 students in grades 9-12.”
“These results reveal concern and hope about alcohol and the misuse of prescription drugs. While most students at Mingo County Schools are not engaging in underage drinking and do not use prescription drugs not prescribed to them, too many students are engaging in these risky behaviors. The protective attitudes and beliefs shared by most students reveal a strong, positive culture for effective prevention,” the report continues.
Part of the survey focused on student behaviors, beliefs and attitudes about alcohol use. The survey indicated that 73 percent of Mingo County High School students did not drink alcohol 30 days prior to the survey and that 64 percent had not drank alcohol in the past year.
However, the survey states that, “Most Mingo County High School Students (75 percent) believe most students in their school drank alcohol monthly or more often in the past year.”
Another part of the student survey focused on behaviors, beliefs and attitudes surrounding prescription drug abuse.
The survey indicated that 92 percent of Mingo County High School Students did not use prescription drugs in the past thirty days and that 93 percent did not use them within the past year. However the survey states that, “Most Mingo County High School students, (60 percent) believe most students in their school used prescription drugs not prescribed to them monthly or more in the past year.”
At the meeting, concern was expressed over the fact that most students believe that students are abusing drugs and alcohol, when in reality, most are not.
“Let the kids know those numbers. Students think that two thirds of other students are doing this but no, it isn’t that many,” one parent said.
“If they think their peers are doing it, they are going to try it,” another parent added. “Actually 75 percent of students are not doing it,” she continued.
The next STOP meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9 at noon. The meeting will be held in the conference room at the Mingo County Board of Education.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext.2279.)