Clarkston School District receives prevention funding for student's risky behaviors

CLARKSTON, WA - The Clarkston School District will receive funding to focus on drug and alcohol prevention after receiving a new survey on students' high-risk behaviors.

Nearly 590 students in Asotin County anonymously answered questions about their alcohol, cigarette and drug use.

The students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades took the Healthy Youth Survey in the fall of 2010 and the results were released last October.

According to the results, the Clarkston School District received a high-risk ranking for alcohol use, and placed in the top 25-percent of school districts in the state.

The survey shows about 75% of 12th graders had more than a sip of alcohol compared to 52% of 10th graders and 47% of 8th graders.

About 46% of 12th graders smoked marijuana compared to 30% of 10th graders and 17% of 8th graders.

Nearly 25% of 12th graders smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days compared to 13% of 10th graders and 12% of 8th graders

And 41% of 12th graders drank a glass or bottle of alcohol in the past 30 days while 26% used an illegal drug, including marijuana in the past month.

But Carrie Gurgel with Asotin County Community Services says the survey is not all negative.

"We have lots and lots and lots of kids who don't use at all and this is a great opportunity to prevent even more of the students from delaying experimentation and to assist those that might be starting down the path," said Gurgel.

Asotin County will get $30,000 in prevention funding from the state to help bring those numbers down.

Gurgel says prevention programs have worked in other school districts in the past.

This is not new funding for Asotin County. Gurgel says the county has received money to prevent youth substance abuse for many years.