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Substance Use

The Norwalk Partnership conducts youth surveys in our middle and high schools, as well as among adults in the community. In 2018, our youth survey found that Norwalk 11th graders were drinking considerably more than the state average and that our middle school students reported riding with drivers who had been drinking. Vaping and marijuana were also substances of concern. In 2021, our survey found that substance use had decreased dramatically during COVID. However, mental health emerged as the #1 issue, especially among students identifying as LGBTQ and girls. 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. 

 

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

 

Alcohol

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.