Survey shows drug, alcohol use down in Menomonie schools - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Survey shows drug, alcohol use down in Menomonie schools

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Menomonie (WQOW) - New numbers show a local school district is making progress in the fight against drug and alcohol use. We spoke with school leaders who say they are pleased with the results of a survey, but that there's more work to do.

"I think the trend is outstanding. I would like the number to be zero, everybody would," said Menomonie High School Principal David Munoz.

Drug use is dropping in the Menomonie School District. That's according to the latest data from the students themselves.

"We give the surveys to the students and the teachers are prepped ahead of time to make sure the students know that it's confidential, that they don't have to do the survey, that it is voluntary. But if they're willing to, we'd like them to be honest," said Menomonie School District's Social Worker Gary Johnson.

Back in 2000, 41% of the sophomores surveyed said they had used alcohol in the past month. In 2011, that number dropped to 26%. Nearly 1 in 5 seniors say they used marijuana within the past month. That's down from a decade ago, but the school says it's still worried.

"Absolutely we're very concerned. That's why we've been working so hard, and for so long. We know any use is not good. We provide information to students, and to their parents, about the effects of substances on the developing adolescent brain," said Johnson.

Principal David Munoz says getting that information out is a group effort.

"We have teachers, we have principals, we have police, we have social services. We have all these different wrap around services that we want to engage students in when things get a little rough," Munoz said.

"We know we've come a long way, but we have a long way to go," Johnson said.

The survey also showed that prescription drug abuse is also dropping compared to other schools in the state.

In 2011, 30% of juniors surveyed said they used prescription drugs without a doctor's order. That's compared to 60% statewide.

There's an important reminder in the survey for parents. More than half of the students who admitted drinking alcohol say they got it from their parents or at home.

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