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Trends In Teen Substance Abuse
Updated December 1, 2015 7:09 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - Everyone in the community has a role in preventing youth drug use. Each day, teenagers find new ways to use common substances to get high.

New drugs are created, marketed and sold to young people at a rapidly changing pace. Those fluid tactics make it difficult to keep up and keep kids safe.

According to the latest report from the Indiana Prevention Resource Council, young people in southwest Indiana use smokeless tobacco at a significantly higher rate than the state average starting in 8th grade and continuing through high school.

Students in 8th grade also have higher rates of cigarette, cigar, alcohol (including binge drinking) and inhalant use than the state average.

Sophomores had significantly higher usage rates for cigarettes, electronic vapor products and binge drinking.

When it came to upperclassmen, juniors had higher rates of cigar and alcohol use, while seniors in southwest Indiana had higher usage of cigarettes and alcohol, including binge drinking.

While statistics compiled in this year's KIDS COUNT in Indiana Data Book show overall teen drug use has been declining in the past decade, it's important to understand the dangerous path young people can travel with they use drugs. That's why the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) is teaming up with the Purdue Extension office in Greene County to host a forum that will explore the impact of drug use in a community.

The forum will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8 at the Greene County Community Event Center at the Greene County 4-H Fairgrounds, 4503 West State Road 54 in Bloomfield.

Jasynda Radanovich is the education and training coordinator and research associate for the Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC). Radanovich will discuss prevention science and current trends in teen substance abuse in Greene County.

For more information on youth substance abuse, free resources are available in IYI's Virginia Beall Ball Library. IYI also compiled an Issue Brief on the subject that is available for download.

As part of IYI's Youth Worker Cafe program, the forum and lunch are free. Please RSVP at If you have trouble with the link, contact IYI Statewide Outreach Manager Debbie Jones at

Youth Worker Cafes are designed to bring together local youth workers to build relationships and inspire collaborations that will benefit children.

For more information on this Youth Worker Cafe, contact IYI Southwest Indiana Outreach Manager Joe Shrode at

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