Keep talking: It’s working
While there is still change to come, keep talking to your children about the actions that put them at risk. Earlier this month the Ohio Department of Health released the results of the 2013 Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Study. The study monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of both morbidity and mortality among the nation’s youth, the executive summary advises. Those behaviors include unintentional injuries or violence, sexual behaviors, alcohol and other drug use, tobacco use, unhealthy dietary behaviors and inadequate physical activity among 9th to 12th graders.
More students are using seat belts. But, boys ages 16-19 are the most likely to be involved in fatal crashes. In the 15-19-year old age group, cell phone use is involved in 21 percent of fatal crashes. Alcohol also is a problem in crashes.
Teens are drinking less alcohol. It is reported that, among U.S. youth, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug. In Ohio, 30 percent of high school students reported having at least one drink of alcohol within the past month. Of these students, 38 percent reported they got the alcohol from someone who gave it to them.
Abstinence from sexual activity. In 2013, 43 percent of students reported ever having sex, 31 percent reported they had sex during the past three months while 12 percent reported that had sex with four or more people in their life.
Teens are eating healthier, more fruits and vegetables and drinking less pop. In Ohio, a majority of youth did not consume the recommended daily intake of fruits or vegetables. In 2013, sixteen percent of Ohio high school students were overweight, which is defined as being at or above the 85th percentile but below the 95th percentile for body mass index, by age and sex.
Using prescription pain relievers without a doctor’s prescription has decreased. This study advises that a major public health problem that still faces the U.S. is the use of drugs among the nation’s youth. Substance use as well as substance abuse among youth can lead to an increased risk for injuries, violence, HIV infection, and other diseases.
Among Ohio high school students, fewer students are reporting cocaine use and prescription drug abuse from 2011. However, marijuana use remains a problem for Ohio high school students and 20 percent of students reported being offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property.
Suicide attempts resulting in injury, poisoning or overdose that had to be treated has decreased significantly. Poor mental health can lead to problems at home, in school, and with peers. It can lead to risky behaviors including drug and alcohol use. It is reported that suicide is the third leading cause of death among the 15-19 age group. Last year, 14 percent of Ohio high school students reported they had seriously considered suicide within the past year: 6 percent reported attempting suicide and 26 percent said they felt sad or hopeless to the point of no longer taking interest in the things they usually enjoy.
Significant decrease in cocaine use over time. The use of drugs among youth is still a major public health problem. Substance use and abuse can lead to increased risk for injuries, violence, HIV infection and other disease. The survey reports that, among Ohio high school students, fewer students are reporting cocaine use and prescription drug abuse from 2011. However, marijuana use remains a problem for Ohio high school students and 20 percent of students reported being offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property.
There are other areas that need more awareness such as texting and emailing while driving. More than 45 percent of students reported that they do this. Bullying, on school property and electronically, is still an issue. Tobacco use and marijuana use have also remained about the same.
Teens listen to the adults in their lives whom they trust and respect. Those relationships develop from the time they are born. There are so many opportunities for parents to teach their children through love, patience and shared experiences.
Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related mental health issues. For more information, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@ familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.