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Alcohol use on the decline with Skagit County youth, but marijuana use on the rise

However, both still remain very serious issues in the area...

Abuse tendencies will commonly rise and fall in select areas over periods of time and Skagit County is no different when it comes to alcohol and marijuana use among minors. The Follman Agency has worked hand-in-hand with Skagit County youths and their loved ones to address these issues for more than 30 years and has long valued counseling those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse in the area.

With this is mind, we were incredibly interested to see a recent study released by the University of Washington which surveyed Skagit County youth about their alcohol and marijuana usage. Upon review, the survey results revealed some very interesting trends.

 Overall, the studies suggest that, while alcohol use has declined in Skagit County among students in grades 6-12, marijuana use has been on the rise with the demographic. The study tracked Skagit County students from 2004 to 2014 and detailed their recent use of both substances along with their attitudes towards them.

According to the survey, 48 percent of Grade 12 students in Skagit County had used alcohol in the past 30 days when surveyed in 2004. When surveyed in 2014, just 32 percent of Grade 12 students in Skagit County said they had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. In addition, the survey found that Grade 12 students who had ever drank alcohol went down to 68 percent from 78 percent in that timespan and those who had participated in binge drinking went down to 20 percent from 32 percent.

While these statistics are encouraging, they do not mean that alcohol use among youth in Skagit County is an issue that has gone away. The survey showed that 24 percent of Grade 12 students still participated in heavy or problem drinking in 2014 with another 11 percent participating in experimental drinking. Also, this survey did not take into account youths who have dropped out of high school.

The study also took a look at marijuana use in the group of Skagit County youth and, unlike alcohol use, marijuana use has been on the rise within the age range. According to the study, 26 percent of Grade 12 students had used marijuana in the past 30 days compared to 24 percent in 2004. Students surveyed in Grade 6 and Grade 8 also saw two percent increases in that time frame.

When compared to the overall usage of alcohol in these age groups in the state of Washington, Skagit County Grade 12 students actually consume alcohol slightly less than the average amount for the state – 32 percent compared to 33 percent statewide. The same could be said for marijuana. So while they are both still an issue in the area, they are not as big of issues as they are in most of the state.

The Follman Agency can help if you believe that one of your loved ones may be struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction in Skagit County. We offer a wide scope of counseling and therapy services that can get those that need help back on the right track.

Please give us a call at 360-755-1125 to get your therapy started.