Encouraging healthy behavior and decreasing substance abuse in our community.


Data

Montpelier Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results

Montpelier Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2013

The Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is given to students every two years since 1985 by the Vermont Departments of Health and Education. The survey measures the prevalence of specific personal behaviors that directly affect the health of our youth.

Last spring, 245 Montpelier High ninth-twelfth grade and 180 Main Street Middle School sixth-eighth grade students participated in the YRBS. The middle and high surveys differed slightly. The middle school survey included questions on fighting, bullying, suicidality, substance use, attitudes and perceptions about substance use, body image, physical activity, and youth assets. The high school survey included questions on these topics as well as self-reported height and weight, driving behaviors, other drug use, sexual behavior and orientation, and nutrition.

The YRBS is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the “resiliency” of young people by reducing high-risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors.

Cigarettes

The number of students in grades 9-12 who reported they had smoked a cigarette during the past 30 days decreased significantly at Montpelier from 26% in 2009 to 13% in 2013.

Alcohol

33% of Montpelier 9th-12th grade students reported consuming alcohol during the past 30 days. This is 5% lower than two years ago. While only 14% of 9th and 10th graders reported having consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, a whopping 50% of 11th and 12th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. Equally troubling, 37% of those 11th and 12thgraders reported that they had 5 or more drinks in a row (binge drinking) in the past 30 days.

Alcohol remains easily accessible and a relatively acceptable form of substance abuse among youth.

Marijuana

At Montpelier, marijuana use among 9th-12th graders has decreased in the past 2 years from 35% in 2011 to 27% in 2013. However, this is still higher than the Vermont average of 24%. Of 11th and 12th grade students, 39% reported riding with a driver who had been smoking marijuana—statistically higher than 29% statewide.

Participation in youth programs and service to community

Healthy development depends not only on avoiding harmful behavior, but also on strengthening positive influence. Research shows that involvement in constructive, supervised extra-curricular activities is associated with reduced likelihood of involvement in risky behaviors such as school failure, drug use, and crime. In addition, evidence is emerging that students who participate in such activities are also more likely to engage in other “thriving” behaviors. 59% of Montpelier students report having spent one or more hours per week volunteering their time to make their community a better place to live.

Youth valued by their community

It stands to reason that young people respond positively when they perceive they are valued by others in their community. Above the Vermont average, 68% of 9th-12th graders and 61% of 6th– 8th graders reported feeling valued in their community. Additionally 71% of high school students and 58% of middle school students agreed that teachers really care about them and give them a lot of encouragement.

For more information, contact the school guidance office or Central Vermont New Directions Coalition, 223-4949, www.cvndc.org.


 

vermont adult tobacco survey

The Vermont Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) is a population-based telephone survey used to help evaluate the effectiveness of Vermont Tobacco Control Program’s efforts to reduce smoking and increase awareness and knowledge of smoking-related issues among Vermont adults.
The Adult Tobacco Survey (and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System-BRFSS) found that the statewide prevalence of cigarette use has continued its gradual decline to 15% in 2010. This is not significantly different from 17% in 2008 but is statistically lower than the 21% prevalence rate in 2000.
Within this report there is tons of great data on prevalence, cessation attempts and other relevant statistics, including information on secondhand smoke perceptions and exposure.
This new rate of 15% is very exciting. We are really making a difference in changing tobacco use prevalence here in VT.

U-32 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results 2013

2013 YRBS Washington Central

The Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is given to students every two years since 1985 by the Vermont Departments of Health and Education. The survey measures the prevalence of specific personal behaviors that directly affect the health of our youth.

Last spring, 382 U-32 ninth-twelfth grade and 216 seventh and eighth grade students participated in the YRBS. The middle and high surveys differed slightly. The middle school survey included questions on fighting, bullying, suicidality, substance use, attitudes and perceptions about substance use, body image, physical activity, and youth assets. The high school survey included questions on these topics as well as self-reported height and weight, driving behaviors, other drug use, sexual behavior and orientation, and nutrition.

The YRBS is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the “resiliency” of young people by reducing high-risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors.

Alcohol

While the trend in alcohol use among younger students has decreased over the last 18 years, older student use has trended upward, with 56% of 12th grade students reporting using alcohol within the last 30 days (compared to the statewide average of 47%). The percentage of 8th grade students reporting using alcohol within the last 30 days decreased from 23% in 2009 to 8% in 2013, while 56% of 8th grader students reported that it would be easy or very easy to get alcohol. This percentage is higher than the statewide average of 38%.

Reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours) during the past 30 days decreased over the last two years among younger students; however 41% of 12th grade students reported binge drinking (up from 25% in 2011), which is much higher than the Vermont average of 30%.

Marijuana

Compared to other states, Vermont has the highest prevalence of past 30 day marijuana use among 12–17- year-olds. At U-32, 21% of high school students reported having used marijuana during the past 30 days, down from 31% two years ago. Interestingly, at U-32, only 19% of 11th grader students reported having used marijuana during the past 30 days, which is significantly lower than the statewide average. However, 35% of 12th graders reported past 30-day usage.

Research has shown that as perception of harm decreases there is a tendency for use to increase. Only 56% of 7th and 8th grade students (compared to 64% of all Vermont middle school students) and only 35% of high school students perceived risk of harm from regular marijuana use.

Tobacco

The percentage of U-32 students who report that they think their parents think it is wrong or very wrong for them to smoke cigarettes is 98% for middle school students, statistically higher than the statewide average, and 89% for high school students. U-32 students continue to believe tobacco is harmful, 76% of 11th grade students think that there is great risk in people harming themselves from smoking one or more packs of cigarettes/day.

Healthy development depends not only on avoiding harmful behavior, but also on strengthening positive influence. Research shows that involvement in constructive, supervised extra-curricular activities is associated with reduced likelihood of involvement in risky behaviors such as school failure, drug use, and crime. In addition, evidence is emerging that students who participate in such activities are also more likely to engage in other “thriving” behaviors. In 2013, 56% of high school students report having spent one or more hours per week volunteering their time to make their community a better place to live and 54% of high school students and 62% of middle school students agreed that in their community they felt like they mattered to people.

Copies of both surveys can be found online at: http://healthvermont.gov/research/yrbs.aspx

For more information, contact the school guidance office or Central Vermont New Directions Coalition, 223-4949.