New study reveals details of teen drug use in Hockley County - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New study reveals details of teen drug use in Hockley County

HOCKLEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

Members of the Hockley County Voices Coalition will sit down on Monday to hear results of a recent survey, focused on teenagers across the county.

The survey, which was conducted by Region 1 of the Prevention Resource Center in Lubbock, shines a light on substance abuse and how many teens it affects.

A total of 499 students were surveyed, from Levelland and Sundown, to Anton and Ropesville.

Officials with PRC wanted an honest reflection of the problems facing the county as a whole.

Questions in the survey range from: 'How often do you drink alcohol?', to 'How dangerous do you think it is for kids your age to use marijuana?'

The results were surprising, but PRC is hoping this information could be used to help the kids in these communities.

"The perception of harm is going down. When the perception of harm goes down, kids don't see it as harmful anymore, " says Ralph-Adam Barrera, the Prevention Resource Center Coordinator at Managed Care Center.

Barrera says his job is crucial for the region, which encompasses 41 counties.

"Us giving that information to them in a way that they can understand it, will better equip them to make those changes...create programs for their youth," Barrera says.

Programs to improve statistics like those in Hockley County, where 59 percent of the students surveyed said they had consumed alcohol at least once, while 54 percent say marijuana is easy to get.

Bob Schafer, the Regional Evaluator at Managed Care Center, says the data is a true reflection of how times are changing.

"For a lot of people my age, the notion that alcohol's not a really, not necessarily a dangerous substance, they have to realize that kids aren't drinking like they did when I was a kid. In the past, if your buddy got drunk, you kind of made fun of him. Now, that's the ends that kids are trying to achieve," Shafer says.

Schafer says he's hopeful that residents in Hockley County will be receptive to the statistics.

"What I hope is that they'll get out the data and get a sober, realistic picture of what's going on," Shafer says.

Hockley County Voices Coalition Coordinator Sipriano Gutierrez says the results of this survey are a major wake-up call.

"When I saw those numbers, they were kinda high," Gutierrez says.

Gutierrez says after Monday's presentation he will visit mayors of the different towns to implement a plan, with one goal in mind.

"Awareness, being educated on what it really does to you," Gutierrez says.

Monday's presentation is open to the public and Gutierrez hopes that parents will attend.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at noon at Covenant Hospital in Levelland, located at 1900 College Avenue.

To take a look at the survey, visit https://magic.piktochart.com/output/20951691-hockley-co-survey-results.

For more information about the Prevention Resource Center and the resources they provide, visit http://www.prc1.org/.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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