In 2018, TNP's annual youth survey found that Norwalk 11th graders were drinking considerably more than the state average, and that our middle school students reported riding with intoxicated drivers. Vaping and marijuana were also substances of concern. In 2021, our survey found that substance use had decreased dramatically during COVID.
Mental health emerged as the #1 issue, especially among girls and LGBTQ-identifying students. Students who reported depression were 1.5x as likely to be using alcohol and other drugs. Students who identified as LGBTQ were 3x as likely to be using substances.
In response, TNP has been working to support youth mental health in Norwalk, particularly among all at-risk youth. In 2022-23, we will re-survey youth to identify current levels of mental health and attitudes and behaviors related to substance use.