A few weeks ago, we posted a two-part blog entry on Buckeye teens and alcohol, which was the first in the series on Buckeye teen attitudes towards substances. Today’s topic is the second: marijuana. And, frankly, the attitudes and numbers are disturbing.
Marijuana use in Buckeye, according to the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS survey)* and Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, is higher than both county and state averages.
For all Buckeye teens, 40 percent have tried it at least once, 17 percent used within the last thirty days, and the same amount use it “to have fun.”
What’s more frightening is something called poly-use. Poly-use is, as the name indicates, using more than one substance at the same time, such as alcohol and marijuana, or marijuana and prescription drug misuse/abuse.
Law Enforcement reports among those using marijuana, poly-use is rampant. Marijuana use and poly-use is so prevalent that one Law Enforcement officer stated, “Every minor with a DUI was marijuana or marijuana plus.”
According to the Mercy Maricopa Needs Assessment, youth are reporting marijuana is easier to access than alcohol. Law Enforcement tells us they’re getting it from their friends, their parents, parties and other places. Interviews with youth have verified these facts; it is too easy to get marijuana.
Where and When Is This Happening?
The number one place for any substance use in Buckeye is parties. That statistic has remained true for a number of years. There are other places where marijuana is used, however.
Look around Buckeye sometime and notice the vacant homes, desert areas, all the private residences, and even the schools. Marijuana (along with alcohol and prescription drugs) is being used in all these places, according to the AYS survey and Law Enforcement.
The Rest of the Story
Next week, we’ll post on the risks, youth’s perception of risk, and consequences of marijuana use among teenagers, as well as where you can go to get help for your teen.
If you would like to know more, or help us keep Buckeye safe for our teens, please contact us either through our website, or attend our next coalition meeting at the Buckeye Chamber of Commerce.
We meet the second Tuesday of every month at noon. Like and follow our Facebook page to get updates on meetings and location.
*For Buckeye-specific AYS information, please contact us at the link provided above.