Kids getting the right message about the dangers of drugs and alcohol

January 12, 2007

According to the Hoosick Area Partnership for Parents and Youth (HAPPY), the attitudes and behaviors of youths toward drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking drugs are largely changing for the better.

According to the Hoosick Area Partnership for Parents and Youth (HAPPY), the attitudes and behaviors of youths toward drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking drugs are largely changing for the better.

The results of a "Communities that Care" survey showed amelioration of certain risk factors the community faces, including low community attachment, community disorganization, poor family discipline and favorable attitudes by the parents about alcohol, tobacco, or drug use. The survey also showed that recent drinking, smoking and marijuana use declined across the board.

Despite the positive results from the survey, the group still believes there are problems on the horizon. The survey found the "average age of onset" for alcohol (meaning the average age in which children try alcohol) among area children had dropped from 14 years of age to just over 12.

"We're moving in the right direction, but we still see kids drinking alcohol, smoking and using marijuana at a young age," said Joyce Davis, executive director of HAPPY.

Other problems are transportation, and a lack of police presence.