Pipestone Area Schools recently conducted a survey of 6th through 12th graders. Most students are not using drugs, alcohol or tobacco. They do, however, think their peers are.
In February, 470 students took part in the 2017 Positive Community Norms Student Survey with a response rate of 84-percent, according to Pipestone Star. The prevention program is funded by a $945,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to span over the next 5-years. In a typical month, 19-percent of students said they didn’t consume alcohol.
Steve Beekman, coordinator for the underage alcohol use prevention program in Minnesota, said, “It was really cool to see right away that many of our kids aren’t using alcohol or other substances.”
In regards to other students drinking monthly, 61-percent said they think other students are. Regarding cigarettes, 81-percent said they’ve never smoked and 83-percent said they’ve never used marijuana. Students, by 86-percent think others have smoked cigarettes and 81-percent think others have used marijuana.
Beekman said, “That’s a huge misconception.”
The results of the survey will be used to help educate the community and the students. At community events, information will be distributed that includes the results of the survey. Billboards and advertisements in newspapers and on the radio will also be created to share the positive information with the community.
Sharing this information is an effort to clear up any misconceptions regarding alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use. The Pipeline Area Coalition (PAC) hopes that parents will continue to communicate with their children about not using alcohol until they’re old enough.
The survey also showed that 71-percent of parents shouldn’t let kids drink.
Parents can get involved with PAC. Beekman says that monthly meetings will be scheduled, and the times will be when most members are available. Many members of the PAC are teachers.