The silent majority: Most youth in North Branch area not using drugs, alcohol
The drug dogs come in, a few kids get busted for possession, and it seems like any given school has a drug problem, said Matt Howard, Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau community justice manager, during a meeting at the North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce office last week.
Howard came to the meeting to give a presentation about recent youth drug trends. Most of his presentation related to statistics garnered from three student surveys — one of Chisago County schools, one of Forest Lake Area High School and a statewide survey.
Howard averaged those statistics for his presentation.
The slide he said drew his eye the most was the monthly non-use summary for students in ninth through 12th grades.
Seventy-four percent of students had not used alcohol during the month the survey was conducted, 81 percent had not used marijuana, and 91 percent had not used prescription drugs.
“Kids might feel like they’re in the minority, if they’re not using,” Howard said. “But the majority of kids, in any given month in a high school, are sober. That silent majority is overwhelming. The using kids get the attention.”