The 2012 Prevention Needs Assessment shows that fewer Wyoming junior high and high school students are smoking and drinking.
Eric Canen of the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at UW led the research. He says the number of eighth graders who said they’d tried alcohol in the past month dropped to 18 percent last year from 24 percent in 2010. Binge drinking also dropped among 10th graders.Canen says the decreases correlates with state-funded substance abuse prevention programs. Canen says he’s concerned that fewer schools are participating in surveys like these than in the past. All but six Wyoming school districts participated in the 2012 survey, so the data is still reliable… but Canen says participation is important.“The things that influence how well students perform in school are things like drug and alcohol use. And the funding and the programs are allocated based on the needs we see in the Prevention Needs Assessment.”Canen says the schools that opt out often complain of having too many demands on their time… but he says if more schools dropout, the data will no longer be reliable.