The alcohol data is especially good to have, he said, because “most people who drink start when they’re young.”
The alcohol industry markets to youth and tries to set brand loyalty, he said.
He said alcohol misuse drives up taxes, probation costs, traffic crashes, injuries, welfare, high-risk sex and fetal-alcohol syndrome.
“Kids are not trying to buy alcohol at stores,” Terbeek said. “That’s a very small percentage. But they are trying to find adults to buy it for them.”
Control questions in the survey weeded out students who were not truthful, MacDevitt said.
“Are they being honest? Are they making something up? This is their perception, their outlook, their reported behaviors and what they perceive in their communities. It’s actually pretty good data.”
Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said the information derived from the survey is so important it should be sent home to all parents.
It is now available on Essex County’s website: www.co.essex.ny.us.
“This is a community-wide problem,” MacDevitt said. “The idea is to work on these factors to make alcohol use less desirable.”
Crown Point Central School Superintendent Shari Brannock said her school uses the Preventive Needs Assessment Survey to tailor programs to students.
“Doug Terbeek is coming to address the Board of Education, and we’ll talk about what we need to do. The information shows us where we need to concentrate efforts.”
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Preventive Needs Assessment Survey http://tinyurl.com/8sfk7ad