Youth Participating in Risky Behavior

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Background/Rationale/Preparation:
Recent statistics such as those listed below indicate that youth continue to participate in risky behavior, which may lead to a lifetime addiction or at the very least poor health.
• More than 4.5 million teenagers smoke in the US today.
• According to FDA at least 1/3 of children who begin smoking today will die from a tobacco-related disease.
• Tobacco use often leads to experimentation with other substance abuse.
• More than half of all 8th graders have consumed alcohol and more than one fourth have been drunk.
• More than half of America’s youth have tried an illicit drug by the end of high school.
In the state of West Virginia it is estimated that there will be around 8,399 DUI's, and 100 deaths due to intoxicated driving this year. Statistics also show that there will be 509 deaths related to alcohol abuse, 2,609 tobacco related deaths, and 101 deaths due to illicit drug use. It is believed that there are around 87,755 marijuana users, 14,380 cocaine addicts, and 814 heroin addicts living in West Virginia. It is also estimated that there are 38,429 people abusing prescription drugs, 3,666 people who use inhalants, and 6,526 people who use hallucinogens. In West Virginia, there will be around 11,078 people arrested this year for drug related charges.
There is an urgent need to focus on preventing risky behavior in youth. WVU Extension Service 4-H Youth Development is in its fourth year of a Health Rocks!® Grant. The West Virginia Health Rocks!® is an anti-tobacco, anti-drug and anti-alcohol program that is designed for youth ten and older. The program focuses on prevention and is delivered summer residential camping programs, in-school programs or in afterschool programs. Health Rocks!® pr...

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...nd collection of evaluation tool, submission of results, review and comparison of Kanawha County’s evaluative results and of other programs. My time for this research investigation is estimated at 50 hours.

Allison Nichols served as the Evaluation Specialist. She worked with a national evaluation team to improve the survey and outline the evaluation protocol and achieved the WVU IRB. She answered questions related to evaluation throughout the year. She provided overall guidance for the evaluation throughout the year.

Donna Patton serves at the grant administrator and team leader working with county agents, afterschool providers, and schools to integrate Health Rocks!®

Collaborators and Funding Sources:
National 4-H Council provided a $72,000 grant for the current program implementation
West Virginia 4-H Program
West Virginia Statewide Afterschool Network
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