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New Boone County Group Targets Youth Substance Abuse

BOONE COUNTY - Community leaders and law enforcement come together to fight teen substance abuse.

BOONE COUNTY - Community leaders and law enforcement come together to fight teen substance abuse.

They've formed a group called the Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition.  It was put together in response to a 2012 study by the Illinois Youth Survey.  The report found 64.8% of 12th graders said they've drank alcohol at some point within the past year.  Of those students, 38.5% said they smoked marijuana.  In many cases, marijuana served as a gateway drug.

The coalition is in the process of completing a community needs assessment.  It wants all Boone County schools to participate in the survey this spring.  The data they obtain when be used to develop programs to educate kids and their parents about substance abuse and its effects.

Below is a list of the coalition's active members:

  • Rosecrance: Kristina Olsen, Adam Hartzell, Kelly Dinsmore
  • Boone County Health Dept.: Ellen Genrich, Theresa Woods
  • Parent: Ronald Olsen
  • Belvidere Police Dept.: Chief Jan Noble
  • Univ. of Illinois Extension: Judy Hodge
  • Boone County State's Attorney's Office: Michelle Courier, Kelly Rohrer
  • Belvidere Family YMCA: Jen Jacky
  • North Boone School District: Heather Walsh
  • Boone County Probation: Debbie Jarvis
  • Boone County Public Defender: Kathryn Fitzsimmons
  • Communications Specialist: Jen Wheeler
  • Public Health Administrator: Cindy Frank
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