The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County will present “Saturday Night in the Suburbs” on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the school’s lecture hall. The event will feature a panel of high school seniors talking about drug and alcohol use, teen parties, parent supervision, social media, and teen-parent communication and resiliency.
Jennifer Lewis-Cooper of the Unified Prevention Coalition will facilitate.
“Parents find this to be somewhat eye-opening,” Lewis-Cooper has said about the event. “We will not ask the panel specific names, dates, places of events or put them on the spot — their job is not to ‘snitch’ on others, but to educate parents to understand what teens are dealing with and help parents to set better limits.”
Parents of middle school and high school students are encouraged to attend, and only adults will be admitted. Exhibit tables with information and local resource materials will be available.
For more information about the event, call 703-938-8723 or email [email protected].
Drinking and smoking are at their lowest rates in five years among Fairfax County teens.
That’s the findings of the newest Fairfax County Youth Survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders.
The annual survey, whose 2015-2016 results were recently released, examines behaviors, experiences, and other factors that influence the health and wellbeing of the county’s youth.
Students’ participation in the survey was voluntary and anonymous.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County School Board co-sponsor the survey to collect information about youth behaviors, both positive as well as those that are harmful.
The survey was administered in November, 2015, and resulted in valid responses from 33,276 students.
Some of the key findings:
More than one-third of Fairfax County students (35.8%) reported drinking alcohol at least once in their lifetime, ranging from 16.9% of eighth-grade students to over half of twelfth-grade students
All of the overall rates for alcohol use (lifetime, past month, and binge drinking) were the lowest reported in the past five years. The lifetime prevalence rate decreased 9.7 percentage points since 2011, while the past month rate decreased by 5.6 percentage points and binge drinking in the past two weeks decreased by 3.4 percentage points.
Thirteen percent of the students (13.1%) reported smoking cigarettes at least once in their lifetime, ranging from 5.4% of eighth-grade students to over one-fifth of twelfth-grade students (22.4%).
Lifetime and past month prevalence rates for cigarette use were the lowest reported in the past five years. The lifetime prevalence rate decreased 7.5 percentage points since 2011, while the past month rate decreased by 4.1 percentage points.
Marijuana was the second most commonly used substance by Fairfax County students overall. One-fifth of the students reported using marijuana in their lifetime (19.2%), ranging from 4.4% of eighth-grade students to over one-third of twelfth-grade students (36.4%).
Ten percent of the students (10.3%) reported using marijuana in the past month, ranging from 2.0% of eighth-grade students to one-fifth of the twelfth-grade students (20.0%).
Both lifetime and past month prevalence rates for Fairfax County students overall were lower than the national comparison data for alcohol, marijuana, cigarette, and inhalant use.
The overall rate for binge drinking also was below the national rate, as were the past month prevalence rates for e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and Ecstasy use.
To see more stats on sexual activity, physical activity, depression and other public health issues, read the entire youth survey on Fairfax County’s website.