A recent survey released by the Johnstown-based Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Partners' Promise regarding the use of drugs and alcohol among local youths shows some positive trends, but it also reminds us parents must continue to watch their teenagers closely and urge them to make the right decisions.
The ASAPP's Promise survey showed 9 percent of eighth-graders indicated they consumed alcohol in the 30 days before the survey - well below the national average of 14 percent. Among high school seniors, the use of alcohol was around 40 percent, below the national average of 41 percent.
Among eighth-graders, the survey showed the percentage using cigarettes or marijuana was below the national average.
But the survey also showed marijuana use by 12th-graders stood at about 23 percent, which is 2 percent higher than a similar survey taken in 2008 and above the 22 percent national average.
Meanwhile, about 7 percent of high school seniors in the county indicated they've used ecstasy - an increase from 3 percent in 2008 and the same as the national average.
In addition, the survey found 7 percent of 12th-grade students said they used painkillers in the past 30 days, above the national average of 3 percent.
Using alcohol and illicit drugs, and abusing prescriptions can ruin a teen's future. Parents must supervise their kids closely and send them the right messages regarding these substances.