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young pre teens drinking

Do you know where your children are on a Friday Night? Is their safety a concern? Let Us Help! Every two years in April and May, Regional Prevention Coordinators (RPC) and The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) team up to administer the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) to adolescents in 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades across the state of Oklahoma. This assessment identifies the problems among Oklahoma’s youth to include substance abuse, delinquency, and teenage pregnancy. The OPNA also assists prevention specialists in developing programs to deter problematic behavior and educate the community on ways to interact and be involved in the lives of today’s adolescences. The 2012 OPNA results provided alarming statics on alcohol use among our middle and high school students. Out of the 1,425 students surveyed in Oklahoma County, we found over 80% of all 12 graders surveyed stated they used alcohol at their friends’ home. This same year our 6th, 8th, and 10th graders showed use of alcohol at their friends’ home at a percentage rate of 32%, 61%, and 75% respectively. By participating in this OPNA assessment we now will know where adolescents gain access to alcohol and any other drugs for that matter. We need to speak out to ensure that our children and community are safe. It’s everyone’s responsibility to encourage greater school and student participation. Time is Running Out!!!! Contact your local school superintendents and request that all 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students participate in OPNA 2014 today! It’s not too late to make an impact in your community.

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