Teens' Risky Behavior on the Rise in Nevada County

RENO, Nev.

Middle and high school students in Washoe County, Nev., have increased participation in sex, drugs and suicide, according to a survey on youth risk behavior. The results have spurred an immediate call to action within the community.

The biannual survey showed that suicidal thoughts among the county’s teens jumped to 14.6 percent in 2009 from 8.6 percent in 2001. Substance abuse has also become an issue for the district. Drug abuse declined among the teens in 2001 through 2007 but showed an increase this year. Marijuana use alone increased from 38.9 in 2007 to 47 percent in 2009. An increase in methamphetamine and over-the-counter drugs was also reported.

On a positive note, the survey also showed that students feel safer in school than they did just two years ago.

The study, which was developed from questions by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, surveyed 1,844 middle school students and 1,727 high school students, according to RGJ.com.

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