Upsetting numbers of Canadian County youth report substance abuse

Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator shares prevention school survey results

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Red Rock RPC Director Julia Cochran

A statewide Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) survey indicates upsetting numbers of Canadian County youth reporting substance abuse.

Oklahoma schools recently received results from the survey, according to the Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC) in Canadian and Grady counties.

The OPNA survey was offered to every school in the state in the fall of 2019 into spring of 2020, and was given to sixth, eighth, 10th, and 12th graders to assess risk and protective factors among youth shown to be correlated with substance abuse.

The Red Rock RPC receives the data from their region for the results, which includes Canadian and Grady counties.

In Canadian County, 16.3% of youth reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days, 15.7% of youth reported riding with a driver drinking alcohol in the last 30 days, and 10.6% of youth reported misusing prescription drugs in their lifetime.

“The numbers for our region are still troubling when compared to 2018 results which is why it is vital to continue prevention efforts in our area,” Red Rock RPC Director Julia Cochran said.

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EVERY TWO YEARS

The OPNA survey is offered every two years. The schools that participate in the survey are also eligible and encouraged to use their data for grant application opportunities for their district.

The survey results are a vital source of information for communities and prevention providers as they allow for concerned parties to tailor their prevention efforts to the highest need(s) in the community and effectively allocate resources.

The Red Rock RPC works with local community coalitions to help prevent substance abuse in Canadian and Grady counties, and if you are interested in getting involved with a local coalition, call (405) 250-9696.

Red Rock RPC’s mission is to encourage individual responsibility, positive behavior, and personal growth; strengthen families and communities; promote a drug-free society through education, training, prevention, research, advocacy, and environmental strategies.

Red Rock RPC Region 13 is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.