Teen Drug Use in Montana - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Teen Drug Use in Montana

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BILLINGS - Montana ranks 31st overall in the annual 'Kids Count' report released on Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

And for the third year in-a-row, the Treasure State ranks last in overall child and teenage health, also according to the recent report. Most notably, the report finds that Montana's child and teen alcohol and drug abuse rate is still the highest in America.

Rimrock Foundation Chief Operations Officer Coralee Goni said, in Billings, marijuana use is increasingly popular among teens. Of the nearly 200 teens evaluated at Rimrock in 2012 and 2013, 80-percent say marijuana is their drug of choice

"We allow what we tolerate," she said. "We, as a community, decide what is acceptable, and it's up to us to change that."

And while Montana is still last when compared to other states, teen alcohol and drug abuse is going down. 'Kids Count' reports the number of kids and teens using drugs or alcohol in Montana dropped from 11-percent in 2008 to 9-percent in 2012.

'Kids Count' Montana Director Thale Dillion says parents can help lower the number as well.

"Our state is not doing as well as the majority as the other states, however we are on the right path," she said. "Just altering that pervasive culture that signals to kids and teens that alcohol abuse is just part of growing up."
 
"A proactive thing for parents is to talk to your kids," Goni added. "Have that line of communication open so they know where we stand. The biggest thing we see with kids is they think their parents don't care if they smoke pot.

For more information on the 'Kids Count' report, click here.






 
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