Chemical Health Initiative

Chemical Health Initiative Fighting Teen Drug & Alcohol Use

September 29, 2015 Anoka County Press Release

A program designed to fight drug and alcohol use among teens in middle school and high school is yielding positive results in the St. Francis and Centennial School Districts.

The Chemical Health Initiative, funded by an Anoka County Children and Family Council School District Partnership Grant, focuses on preventing the use of gateway drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, and urges parents to talk to their children early, and on a consistent basis, about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

The actual extent of student drug and alcohol use versus the perception among students about the level of drug and alcohol use among their peers was measured by holding listening sessions and conducting student, parent, and staff surveys. Among the key findings:

  • Students overestimate the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs by their peers.
  • The use of alcohol and marijuana substantially increases from 8th grade to 9th grade.
  • The earlier students use chemicals, the more they are at risk for long-terms problems.
  • Along with alcohol and marijuana, an area of concern is the use of non-prescribed prescription drugs, which also increases in high school.