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Talk Early and Often

Welcome to Our Kids Count! Posts in this blog will give parents and caregivers of adolescents the education, strategies and empowerment they need to raise children who are healthy as well as alcohol, tobacco, and drug free. We want to give you the most timely and accurate information so you have the resources to talk early and often about tough issues with your child.

About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent. Additionally, by the time they are seniors, almost 70 percent of high school students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose. The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol and other drugs, the greater chance you have of influencing their decisions about drinking and substance use.

But What About Our Kids?

  • In 2020, 39.37% of Clay County youth report having tried alcohol on at least one occasion compared to the Kansas average of 32.74%

  • When Clay County youth in grades 6-8 were asked about alcohol use, 27.04% report trying alcohol at least once, compared to the statewide average of 20.59%.

  • Also, 52.26% of Clay County high school students report experimenting with alcohol, again, this is above the state average.

Source: kctcdata.org

Clay County Data - Alcohol

On how many occasions have you had beer, wine or hard liquor to drink in your lifetime (more than just a few sips)? Percentage of students responding "At least once"

The truth is, kids are drinking alcohol - not other people's kids; our kids. And they are starting younger than ever, especially between the ages of 11 and 13. While most kids do live healthy lives, some kids are exposed to drinking, smoking, and drugs. They may not be aware of the risks these behaviors pose to their health, their safety, and their future.

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