At its January meeting today, the Porter County Substance Abuse Council discussed preliminary data just released from the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Indiana University’s School of Public Health. There is good news and still work to do in the fight against substance abuse.
Members heard a presentation on the school year 2013-2014 data, comparing data against the last 4 years. The data show that substance use in Porter County, by youth in grades 8-12, continues to trend downwards. This is good news for the students in the county. Work still needs to be done in our comparison to the state. In the categories of marijuana and heroin the county youth are using at higher rates.
The Substance Abuse Council funds programs in the county based on its strategic plan. Part of the plan specifically addresses 12-14 year olds. The percentage increase of use for marijuana and heroin between 6th and 8th grade is 600%. Porter County Substance Abuse Council Board President Michelle Volk noted, “The DEA, and others, are reporting that marijuana use among youth will rise as the perception of risk decreases. It is imperative that we focus on the perception of harm to their growing bodies. The Council is planning future events to address this vital issue.”
The Porter County Substance Abuse Council is dedicated to reducing substance abuse in Porter County. The Council successfully collaborates with treatment facilities, education providers, members of the justice community and concerned citizens. A member of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, the Council is in its 27th year providing funding to the community.