Combating Youth Drug Use

Friday, November 2nd 2007, 6:43 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State narcotics officials have a new plan to help combat drug use among young people. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Thursday announced that a partnership with AmeriCorps will allow it to employ 120 drug prevention counselors and volunteers and place them in strategic locations around the state.

Agency director Darrell Weaver said a $125,000 federal grant and $100,000 in drug seizure money will fund the program.

Junior- or senior-level education or criminal justice graduate students will be paid $500 a month and receive a $2,300 annual stipend for education expenses after completing 900 hours of service in the program.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than 40% of Oklahoma high school students surveyed in 2003 and 2004 said they had tried marijuana, and 12% dabbled in cocaine, methamphetamine or inhalant use.

Weaver says about two out of every three high school students say they have never received a drug education course in school or at home.