The White House’s Drug Czar, Michael Botticelli, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, met with Indiana youth on Wednesday afternoon during an interview session about local substance abuse issues.
Porter County’s three youth attendees personally met with Director Botticelli during the National Youth Leadership Initiative as part of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s 2015 Mid-Year Training Institute in Indianapolis. This event is a chance for coalitions around the country to learn new strategies to put into place in local communities. “The conference was a wonderful opportunity to begin the impact we will make in Porter County,” said Tyler Goodman, junior at Portage High School.
Director Botticelli and General Arthur T. Dean, Chairman and CEO of CADCA shared information with the youth and then presented to all of the attendees. They released information from the Drug-Free Community (DFC) Support Program’s 2014 National Evaluation. There are some positive changes.
The good news is that of the four core measures that all DFC Support recipients report, the middle and high school youth’s perception of risk is increasing. Youth who perceive greater risk are less likely to try drugs.
Nationwide approximately one in four middle and high school students lived in a community with a DFC coalition. Porter County Substance Abuse Council is a recipient of a DFC Support grant.
Other key findings from the report include a decrease in past 30-day use for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription medication among middle and high school youth, an increase in the perception of parental disapproval for each of the substance areas, with the exception of marijuana among high school youth. This is all good news for Porter County and the youth of the county.
“I’ve learned so much about what I can do to better our community and educate them on the dangers of substance abuse. I’m so grateful I had this opportunity and can’t wait to go out and put our plans for our county in action,” shared Vivian Bauer, freshman at Chesterton High School.
Dedicated to reducing substance abuse in Porter County, the Substance Abuse Council is the county’s founding coalition working together to battle substance abuse. A member of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, the Council is in its 27th year providing funding to the community.