USE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Why is this important?
Drug and alcohol use and abuse are consistently tied to other physical and behavioral health problems that compromise health, well-being, and the ability to provide for the next generation effectively. Early use and access to drugs and alcohol for children and young adults is predictive for life-long drug and/or alcohol problems. Our community’s ability to use the current effective interventions and education to "inoculate" our children against the use and especially early use of drugs and/or alcohol reflects our effectiveness as a community. Of current drug use, methamphetamine use is especially devastating to individuals, their families, the community, and the environment.
What is the measure?
The drug and alcohol use section of the Healthy Kids survey is administered every other year to 7th, 9th, and 11th graders. The second measure is the number of methamphetamine cases reported by law enforcement agencies.
How are we doing?
Tuolumne County children are using drugs at a rate that is somewhat less than the California average. However, we have a higher and earlier use of alcohol. Community prevention and intervention activities of agency collaborations target early alcohol use as a primary issue. Efforts to intervene continue on a cultural level with education and social alternatives, and on an individual level with treatment to make our community’s children safer and healthier. Methamphetamine use, as measured by law enforcement cases, is on the rise in our county. A disturbing trend is evident in the increase of "super labs" replacing smaller operations.