Roanoke School Officials Find Widespread Drug Use and Depression
In today’s environment, it’s not surprising to find that middle school and high school students are using drugs. However, a Roanoke school survey about drug and alcohol use, brought back results that no one was really prepared for.
While the survey of 1,378 middle school students and 671 high schoolers showed progress in terms of reduced use of alcohol, tobacco and vaping, students also revealed a disturbing aspect to many of their lives.
It turns out that more than 150 Roanoke students have used heroin — including sixth- and eighth-graders — and according to survey results – two in 10 high school students who responded said they had attempted suicide.
Ronoke City Council members reviewed the survey with school officials and tried to formulate steps for moving forward.
“It’s important that we talk about and acknowledge that this is going through the minds of our youth,” said Vice Mayor Anita Price, a retired school guidance counselor.
Councilman Bill Bestpitch was struck by the incongruity of so much hopelessness among students when the city’s graduation rate, now near 90 percent, suggests greater success and more opportunity than ever.
Paula Prince of the prevention alliance agreed, but added that graduation, while laudable, represents an end for many students, who see limited opportunity beyond it.
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To learn more about how students and officials in Roanoke VA are responding to drugs and depression, please visit Roanoke.com.