Below are Drug Free Fayette's issues, data, and tentative strategies that are the current focus of the coalition's work.
Issue: Although alcohol use by teens has declined over the last eight years, it is still the substance most widely used by that age group.
- Over 75 % of 12th graders in Fayette County DO NOT drink alcohol. However, the 23.8% that do is considerably higher than the 19.2% Georgia average.
- According to a needs assessment conducted by AVPRIDE in 2012, when teens drink they usually get the alcohol from home-- or a friend's home-- rather than a bar, restaurant, liquor store or convenience store.
- Continue to raise awareness among parents in Fayette County about social host ordinances, through the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most" annual campaign.
Issue: Marijuana is the second most used illicit substance by Fayette County teenagers.
- 14.55% of Fayette County 12th graders have used marijuana in the last 30 days. This compares to 14.29% five years ago, which means marijuana use has been relatively stable during that time period.
- Perception of harm of marijuana has dropped dramatically over the past five years. Perception of harm is now lower for marijuana than for any other illicit substance.
- There is a growing national trend towards legalizing both medical marijuana and marijuana for recreational use.
- Raise teen awareness of potential harms of marijuana use and addiction. Leverage that awareness to help increase levels of peer disapproval of marijuana use, among teens.
- Actively participate in educating policy-makers of the potential risks of marijuana legislation to inadvertently increase teen recreational use of marijuana.
- Seek solutions that enable marijuana to be more aggressively scientifically researched for medicinal purposes.
Issue: Nationwide, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose now exceeds the number of deaths from car accidents and homicides-- combined.
- 4.6% of Fayette County 12th graders misused prescription drug stimulants in the last 30 days. This is more than double the Georgia average of 2.2%.
- 3.2% of Fayette County 12th graders misused prescription drug painkillers in the last 30 days. This is higher than the Georgia average of 2.6%.
- Promote safe storage of prescription drugs.
- Promote secure disposal of expired prescription drugs.
- Promote parent/teen conversations about the potential risks of the misuse of prescription drugs.
- Help Fayette County residents connect to local resources related to prescription drug misuse prevention, mental health, and support.
The Drug Free Fayette Coalition uses the Strategic Prevention Framework, developed by SAMHSA, in its efforts to impact teen substance abuse. To learn more, click here.