Kendall students report drop in use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs

Posted 3 October 2016 at 12:21 pm

Press Release, Kendall Central School

KENDALL – Kendall students in grades 7-12 completed the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNA) in 2015 for the Orleans County Drug Free Communities Coalition.

Every two years, the survey collects data on youth substance use, developmental risk and protective factors over time. A large section of the survey focuses on students’ use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and non-prescribed prescription drugs.

Of the 267 Kendall students who participated in the survey, 27 percent responded that they had used any of these substances in the last 30 days. This is the lowest rate of usage since Kendall began taking the survey in 2007. Kendall students have the lowest rate of substance use in Orleans County, according to the survey.

Students were also asked if they perceived themselves at risk of drinking regularly, smoking cigarettes or marijuana and taking non-prescription drugs. Overall responses showed a slight increase since the 2013 survey, but there was a 32 percent decrease in the students’ risk of smoking marijuana since 2007.

The survey questioned students on their perception of their parent’s disapproval if they used any of the four substances. Over 93 percent of students responded in each substance category that their parents would disapprove of them using, which has been one of the highest rates recorded.

This result shows a strong influence on the decrease in substance abuse among Kendall students. This data shows that parents are sending the message that these are not acceptable behaviors and students are receiving the message, even if they aren’t always acting on it. Kendall’s responses to this question rank higher than any of the other schools surveyed in Orleans County.

Students were also asked how high they perceived their peers’ disapproval if they regularly used any of the four substances. There was an overall increase in peer disapproval since 2013. This data demonstrates that peer disapproval also plays a part in discouraging students from adopting these risky behaviors.

Students were also asked about use of tobacco products in all forms, including e-cigarettes. The majority of Kendall students have not even tried them once and are living in non-smoking households. However, students perceive the risk of using e-cigarettes is low, which is something that needs to be monitored going forward.

The PNA Survey is designed to measure the need for preventative services among youth in the areas of substance abuse, delinquency, antisocial behavior and violence. The questions ask youth about the factors that place them at risk for substance use and other risky behaviors, along with the factors that offer them protection from these behaviors.

Students are questioned about their use of the four substances and participation in various antisocial behaviors. The survey is funded by Orleans County Drug Free Communities Coalition, and four of the five school districts in Orleans County participate. Students are surveyed in the fall during the school day.

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