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Local Issues

Our 2022 Norwalk Youth Survey found that anxiety, depression, and self harm have substantially decreased since COVID. But "better" is a long way from "good." 538 of our kids have made a suicide attempt, 1 in 4 remain depressed, and over a third experience anxiety that "always" or "almost always" makes life difficult.


Luckily, Norwalk is still experiencing some of the lowest substance use rates in recent years and is using less than surrounding towns. Only 18% of our high school students have ever used alcohol, and only 12% have used nicotine. However, any amount of substance use still has links to mental and physical illness and can lead to risky situations. For instance, 1 in 4 students reported having had sex under the influence, and students as young as seventh grade continue to ride with intoxicated drivers.

On this page you will find information on the local issues with which Norwalk youth are struggling, including alcohol, marijuana, vaping/nicotine, and opioids, as well as mental health issues. If this information motivates you to seek support, please visit our website's resource tab.

Teen Substance Use in Norwalk: What parents should know and how to help

Recording from TNP's 1/19/22 presentation to parents (16 minutes) - presenter: Donna Fletcher, Child & Family Guidance


Underage drinking is more common in Norwalk than in the state or nationally.


The New Marijuana

Today's marijuana is not safe for teens. (Not to mention illegal!)

Vaping & Nicotine

Big Tobacco is getting a new generation hooked.


Opioids & Other Drugs

Whether it's a pain med, an ADHD drug, or a street drug, there are risks. Some you don't even know about.

Mental Health

Many kids in Norwalk were struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicidality... even before COVID. 

Group Bonding

Cultural Disparities

Our LGBTQ students, students of color, girls, students with IEPs, English language learners, and those experiencing financial strain are at highest risk.

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