Talking about drugs and alcohol with youth can be difficult. Young people might not feel comfortable talking with adults for fear of getting into trouble and it can be hard for adults to understand what kind of situations the kids are experiencing.
Claire Woodall from Safe and Sound, a local crime prevention nonprofit, is taking on this issue head on. With her co-workers at Safe and Sound and the 27th Street West Drug Free Coalition, Claire is holding a series of listening sessions with a diverse group of youth within the 53208 zip code. The sessions are designed to encourage open discussion among the youth about how and why they may decide to use drugs or alcohol.
Many studies have looked at the frequency or rate of substance use among youth, but not as many have identified how and why they use in the first place.
Claire hopes the sessions will provide new information about the “current climate of youth drug and alcohol use here” and help determine better prevention tactics. (Photo to the right from a recent 27th Street West Drug Free Coalition event.)
After the series of sessions are over Claire will put together a report compiling the new data and develop an action plan to go into effect over the next 5 years.
Listen to the audio piece below with Claire and one of the students who participated at the most recent session, held at the Hmong American Friendship Association.