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MARCH 2022

Youth and Increased Substance Use

Substance use has increased during the pandemic. According to the CDC in August of 2020, 13.3% of adult respondents to a survey started or increased use of substances including drugs and alcohol. 


Another survey from The Recovery Village in September of 2020 found 55% of respondents had an increase in alcohol consumption in the past month with 18% reporting a significant increase. They found increased use was a coping mechanism for stress, boredom, and mental health symptoms like anxiety or depression.


This might all seem concerning but unrelated to students. The reality is substance use has increased for all age groups, including youth. The frequency of alcohol and cannabis use increased among teens in the first three weeks of lockdown in their communities. Teens and adolescents are scared of the unknown, looking for escape, and want something to make them feel good because socialization is no longer a big part of their lives.


The earlier a child begins using substances, the higher likelihood they have of developing substance-related problems and addiction later in life. The rates of drug and alcohol use in preteens are alarmingly high. According to the CDC, 6.8% of students say they tried marijuana before they turned 13 years old. The percentage of 8th-grade students who say they drank alcohol in the past month is nearly 1 in 12 students. Prevention is crucial to students’ long-term health. 

Parents have the biggest impact in preventing substance use in children. The increased time at home due to the pandemic gives you a great opportunity to have an open dialogue with your children about alcohol and drug use and the dangers. 

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Keep your conversations in the present tense because the future can seem a long way off to your child. Parents can begin talking to children about drugs as early as 3-5 years of age. Find tips on how to talk to your kids about substances, suicide, and their strengths at


If you or your child would like to talk about the dangers of substance use, call the Hopeline at 1-800-567-4673. You can also go to the We Care Crisis Center in Lima at 797 South Main Street, Lima, OH 45804.


You can also register your child for the I Mind program if you have concerns about substance use like vaping. I Mind is a voluntary one-day weekend program that gives adolescents tools to avoid substance use. Learn more and register at

I mind if you Juul   •   I mind if you're falling behind in school   •   I mind that you can't compete with us in the competition   •   I mind that this is hurting your health

I Mind
Youth Prevention Program

I Mind is a voluntary one-day weekend program. It gives adolescents tools to avoid substance use. I Mind also helps students return to school or after-school programs as quickly as possible after discipline measures.

When school Alcohol and Other Drug policies are violated, students are often excluded from school other activities for discipline. Youth need prevention programming to turn from potential substance use disorder

Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm

New classes have been added for grades 7-8 taking place once a month.

If you are in crisis call 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) or text 741 741.

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