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Survey Shows Most Local Teens Do Not Use Drugs

In 2012, all Livingston County school districts participated in the Michigan Profile for Health Youth survey with 1,534 eleventh graders, 1,633 ninth graders, and 1,327 seventh graders completing the survey.

A survey of Livingston County high school and middle school students shows that most teens don’t use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 

Starting January 27, the Livingston Community Prevention Project (LCPP) is partnering with local schools to highlight that most teens are making smart decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

“As adults, we know how dangerous drug use is for our kids, but these survey results show that teens are getting the message too,” said LCPP Coordinator Karen Bergbower. “LCPP and Livingston County schools are partnering to reinforce this positive message.”

The survey results were taken from the Michigan Profile for Health Youth (MiPHY) Survey. The MiPHY is an online, anonymous student survey developed by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). 

The MiPHY is available free to all Michigan schools to assess risk behaviors, risk factors, and protective factors associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, violence, sexual behavior, physical activity, and nutrition in Grades 7, 9, and 11. It is administered every two years.

In 2012, all Livingston County school districts participated in the survey. Overall, 1,534 eleventh graders, 1,633 ninth graders, and 1,327 seventh graders completed the survey. 

The survey results show that most teens are making healthy choices and avoiding risky behaviors, like alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.

  • 77 percent of high school students HAVE NOT used alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • 94 percent of middle school students have NEVER used alcohol.
  • 89 percent of high school students HAVE NOT smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.
  • 99 percent of middle school students HAVE NOT smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.
  • 96 percent of high school students HAVE NOT used smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days.
  • 84 percent of high school students HAVE NOT used marijuana in the past 30 days.
  • 99 percent of middle school students have NEVER used marijuana.
  • 94 percent of high school students HAVE NOT abused prescription drugs in the past 30 days.

“It is inspiring to see a majority of teens making safe and smart decisions about using,” said Nicole Schingeck, Student Assistance Coordinator for Hartland Community Schools. “Hartland Schools is pleased to partner with LCPP on the MOST Campaign, which empowers teens not to use.”

The MOST Campaign is a social norming campaign for Livingston County. The concept of the campaign is to let students and their parents know that MOST Teens Don't Use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Thus, in order to “fit in” or “be part of the crowd” teenagers do not need to use.

Studies show that peer and parent perceptions about the percentage of teenagers who use substances are much higher than actual numbers of teenagers who are using. Since changing perceptions is the first step in changing behaviors, the campaign focuses on the positive – that MOST teens are not using. 

By correcting the misperceptions, teens won’t feel pressured to use because they believe that "everyone else is doing it."

The MOST Campaign will run until the end of the school year. After the initial kick off, messages targeting specific substances will be used. Prescription drug abuse will be targeted in mid-February, tobacco will be targeted in early March, marijuana will be targeted in mid-March, and underage drinking will be emphasized from April to late May to target Prom and Graduation.

For more information about the MOST Campaign, contact Karen Bergbower at 810-225-9550 or karen@kbamichigan.com. More information about the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY).

Survey can be found at the Michigan Department of Education website at www.michigan.gov/miphy.

Information provided in press release.

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