'Most Teens Don't' Program off to great start for current school year

Most Teens Don't (MTD) is off to an excellent start in the 2011-2012 schoolyear, organizers say. Membership has increased from approximately 55 to 80 students in the following high schools: Columbia, Concord, DaVinci, Grass Lake, Hanover Horton, Jackson High, Michigan Center, Northwest, Springport, Vandercook Lake and Western. Most Teens Don't is a social (norming) marketing campaign that focuses on the positive behaviors of teens. The program, funded primarily by a federal Drug Free Communities Grant, uses the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth Survey (MiPHY) taken bi-annually by 7th, 9th and 11th graders in Jackson County schools. This confidential, computer based survey, shows that while 62.2 percent of 9th graders thought all, most or some of their peers drank recently, in reality only 23.5 percent reported to have drank in the past 30 days. Additionally, 23 percent of 7th graders thought all, most or some of their peers smoked recently but only 3.2 percent of 7th grade teens reported to have smoked in the past 30 days. Also, 65.6 percent of 11th graders thought all, most or some of their peers smoked marijuana recently when only 22.8 percent of 11th grade teens reported to have smoked marijuana in the past 30 days. The purpose of the campaign is to bring awareness to the reality that most teens are not involved in these risky behaviors, as the data shows. The volunteer teens are involved in events that promote the campaign at their local schools, as well as countywide events like radio interviews, the Jackson Christmas Parade and creating a video that airs on JTV Sports. Future events being planned include a photo voice project, a poster contest, creating a radio ad, and a lipdub in downtown Jackson. Agencies involved with the Most Teens Don't campaign include: Allegiance Health, Center for Family Health, Family Services and Children's Aid, Jackson County Health Department, Jackson County Intermediate School District, Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Jackson County Youth Center, LifeWays CMH, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and United Way of Jackson County. For more information, contact Wendy Murdock, Drug Free Communities Coordinator at wmurdock@uwjackson.org or (517) 796-5129 or visit/like on Facebook/mostteensdont. Published: Mon, Dec 19, 2011

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