Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Teens Using Drugs To Combat Stress

NEW YORK, NY – A new study released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America reveals a troubling new insight into the reasons why teens use drugs. According to the 2007 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study of 6,511 teens (PATS Teens), the number one reason teens see for using drugs is to deal with the pressures and stress of school. In this nationally projectable study (margin of error +/- 1.6 percent), 73 percent of teens reported that school stress is the primary reason for drug use, indicating that teens' perceptions of motivating factors for using drugs are dramatically different than past research has indicated.

Deep Disconnect Between Teen Behavior and Parental Awareness

An accompanying 2007 Partnership study of parents' attitudes about teen drug use, released in June, showed that parents severely underestimate the impact of stress on their teens' decision to use drugs. Only 7 percent of parents believe that teens might use drugs to cope with stress.

"A wide disconnect exists between what teens are thinking and feeling and what parents believe about their teens when it comes to attitudes about drug use," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership. "This is a pivotal opportunity for parents to understand what motivates today's teens to engage in this type of risky behavior, and to communicate the very real dangers and risks, while offering their kids support and guidance on dealing with pressure in a healthy way."

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