The Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition mainly focuses projects on marijuana use and prescription medication abuse prevention. These substances are targeted because a community needs assessment from 2011-2012 showed growing issues in our community around these substances. Emerging drug use trends, such as synthetic cannabinoids, are also addressed as the need arises.
We are concerned about youth use and access to marijuana and the impact marijuana has on drugged driving.
- According to the 2012 Prevention Needs Assessment student survey, 44% of Campbell County 10th and 12th graders said they had used marijuana at least once in their life.
- When teens believe that marijuana is not risky to use, they will use it more.
- Medical marijuana has given the illusion that using marijuana is not harmful because it is a medicine. We see this same myth with prescription medicine abuse: because it is a medicine, it can’t be too bad to use; it must be safer than other substances.
- The legalization of recreational use in 2 states has also contributed to the idea that marijuana is not too dangerous to use.
- Marijuana harms the developing brains and growing bodies of youth.
- It damages the parts of the brain used for memory and learning.
- Mental health illnesses are worsened in teen marijuana users.
- If marijuana use starts in adolescence, the chances of addiction are 1 in 6.
- Persistent and heavy use among adolescents reduces IQ by 6 to 8 points.
- Research has shown marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and its smoke is also an irritant to the lungs. This can result in greater prevalence of bronchitis, cough and phlegm production.
- Because marijuana impairs judgment and slows down reaction time, it is impossible to drive safely.
- Drugged driving is 100% preventable…always drive sober.
For more info, please visit www.ThereIsNoDebate.org.
Why Prescription Medication?
Prescription medication abuse and addiction is the fastest growing drug problem in the US.
- In 2012, the number of painkiller (narcotic) prescriptions written in the US was 259 million. (The total population of the US is about 318 million.)
- With so many prescriptions filled and pills in our homes, they are easy to obtain unnoticed when pills are not tracked. In fact, prescriptions are often easier to get than illegal street drugs.
- Some people mistakenly think that prescription drugs are safer and less addictive than street drugs.
- The truth is medications are safe for the person for whom it has been prescribed under a doctor’s care.
- According to the 2012 Prevention Needs Assessment student survey, 18% of Campbell County 10th and 12th graders said they had used a prescription medication to get high at least once in their life.
What can I do to keep my family safe?
- Talk to your kids, early and often.
- Kids are less likely to use drugs if they learn about the risks from their parents.
- Go to the Resources page to find more tips and info on how to do this!
- Make rules in your home about no drug use.
- Having rules also gives your kid an excuse to use. “I can’t do that. My mom would kill me!”
- Volunteer with the Campbell County Prevention Council!
- Monitor and lock up any medications in your home.
- Dispose of any unused medications in your home by taking them to the Med Disposal Return Unit at the Gillette Police Department.
- Voice your opinion on why you believe marijuana is harmful to kids and families and let others know that sharing medications is not safe.
- For more information and resources on these topics, please visit the Resources section.
SOURCES: Smart Approaches to Marijuana: Marijuana and Health; the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Vital Signs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment